The removal of Alex Jones’s content from various social media mediums is still sending shock waves through the free world. It turns out there are indeed limits to free speech on the internet even when you are obeying all the relevant laws.
The intricacies of the right to free speech in the United States is understood by some Americans. The First Amendment protects the right to free speech from the infringement of the government. It doesn’t, however, protect it from corporations or private institutions.
So while the ban of Jones from most mainstream internet platforms (with the notable exception of Twitter) is perfectly legal, it clearly goes against the spirit of the First Amendment and free speech that many Americans hold dear.
According to a Pew Research Center poll conducted in September 2017, a large majority of Americans under 50-years-old now get their news from the internet rather than television — and that number is growing by the day. In the future, people will increasingly get their news and current events information online, which is why it is so important to protect it from censorship.
Shielding Jones’s Info Wars from censorship actually has almost nothing to do with Jones at all. In reality, it’s about protecting content creators from censorship. The question is who ultimately decides what is acceptable and what isn’t?
Political extremists would love nothing more than to silence their harshest critics, removing them from the internet entirely and effectively kneecapping their movements in one fell swoop.
There are those on the left who today may be celebrating the removal of Jones’s content from mainstream platforms, but what they don’t realize is the censorship Rubicon has been crossed.
Companies like Facebook and YouTube that define the modern internet now have the power to decide who survives an ideological purge and who does not.
No one knows what the next “Facebook” will be and who will control it, but it’s certain this person will have an almost unimaginable amount of power.
In recent years, political discourse has become increasingly polarized. Even individuals with relatively centrist viewpoints like Toronto University Professor Jordan Peterson, for example, are routinely attacked.
Peterson’s speaking engagements are protested and condemned by left-wing extremists who believe his pro-free speech platform is somehow akin to a rerun of National Socialism in 1930’s Germany.
He is often accused of being part of the alt-right and is frequently labeled a “Nazi” simply for calling out the extreme left for things such as the government compelling individuals by law to use someone’s preferred gender pronouns.
The left is trying to classify Peterson as a Nazi is an attempt to not only censor his message but to remove him from the debate entirely. They have no counter to his fact-based arguments, so instead of debating his message, they simply try to knock him out of the discussion entirely.
On its face, Jordan Peterson and Alex Jones have absolutely nothing in common. Peterson is a well-centered academic preaching a message of personal responsibility and self-improvement. Jones is off the deep end, ranting recently about the Psychic Vampire conspiracy and the Inter-Dimensional war on Joe Rogan’s podcast.
What they do have in common is the fact that there are leftists who would love to remove both of them from the political and social debate.
By silencing Jones, we take a step toward a terrible outcome: censorship of the only completely free medium we have ever had in the history of humanity.
This censorship will start slowly, as do most steps to shut down debate and censure free speech.
Today it’s Alex Jones, but who will it be tomorrow?
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