Yesterday’s big story? Several major social media platforms have de-platformed Alex Jones and his Infowars opinion (“information”?) show.
Most commenters about this happening hasten to signal to their audiences that they do not approve of Alex Jones. Is this really necessary? When we consider a mass de-platforming event, do we need to belabor the obvious?
I hazard that even most of Jones’s viewers and listeners agree with a small amount of what he says. Jones is more like Jon Stewart and Cenk Uygur, a performer whose rants entertain most of all. In his case, because he says things no one else will, Infowars makes for a bracing . . . alternative.
It should also go without saying that private platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Apple, who are the main players to kick Jones to the curb of the Information Super-Highway, have the right to include or exclude anyone they want. As Robby Soave at Reason put it, these “companies are under no obligation to provide a platform to Sandy Hook conspiracy theorizing, 9/11 trutherism, or any of the other insane ideas Jones has propagated.”
But Soave does worry about the goofy rationales provided for the exclusion.
As do I. And it is not just that the proffered reason, “hate speech,” is, as Soave explains, vague, unanchored to any offered specific offenses.
But it’s worse. This whole exclusionary move is not about hate speech. Everyone knows this.
It’s about suppressing ideas that are (a) popular and (b) despised by the dominant culture.
And these insiders seem at a loss to confront Jones’s farragoes with better ideas, failing to provide “counter info” in their war on Infowars.
They strike below the belt.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.