Media pioneer Matt Drudge is vindicated after warning InfoWars founder Alex Jones — purged by Silicon Valley’s largest companies Monday — in a rare 2015 interview about the pervasiveness of corporate power over American life.
In a wide-ranging interview with Jones, the Drudge Report founder sounded the alarm about Facebook and Google’s influence over the media and greater internet landscape.
“I am not on Facebook. I don’t do the socials. I have that little Twitter thing — even that is kind of disgusting,” Drudge told Jones. “You know, I have been doing the Internet as long as you have been doing this radio show, Alex. Literally every day… And I’ll tell you, I was there before Facebook. I was there before CNN.com. I was there before mostly all of them,” he added. “I have a very clear perception of what the Internet is in my mind. I am free.”
Drudge touted his independence from financial institutions and major internet giants, noting he doesn’t need capital or web traffic from either.
“I am not defined by what they say the Internet is. Meaning Goldman Sachs, meaning who they invest in for the latest startup. Meaning the latest BuzzFeed or Salon or Gawker — well, Gawker is more independent,” he said. “But there is a lot of corporate makeover of the Internet that I have not adapted to, simply put.”
“I have completely remained independent from all of them. All of them! I am not influenced by any of them,” Drudge added. “I need no traffic from Google.”
The new media pioneer also criticized Silicon Valley for “ghettoization” of the Internet, while lambasting multinational corporations for turning the Internet into their own “playgrounds,” void of creativity and individuality.
The reason there’s so much anger online, also, is a newspaper like the Washington Post will leave a comment section. They don’t care what you’re saying. They don’t care what you’re thinking. That’s why you get this anger, that, “oh, I’m out here as a citizen and I’m operating in their playground.” Make your own playground! The reason I’m here, Alex, is you’ve made your own playground.”
You get famous on YouTube… you’re playing in Google’s hell pit. Make your own place. The Internet allows you to make your own dynamic, your own universe. Why are you gravitating toward somebody else’s universe?
“This is ghetto. This is corporate,” Drudge said as he took aim at the narcissism rampant on social media. “They are taking your energy and you get nothing in return!”
“I’m just warning this country that — don’t get into this false sense that you are an individual when you’re on Facebook. No, you’re not! You’re a pawn in their scheme,” he declared.
InfoWars editor-at-large Paul Joseph Watson tweeted Monday that Drudge’s warning was correct. “Matt Drudge warned us over and over again about the danger of social media ghettos,” he wrote. “He was right, but few listened.”
On Monday morning, Facebook deleted four InfoWars pages from their platform: the Alex Jones Channel Page, the Alex Jones Page, the Infowars Page, and the Infowars Nightly News Page. Facebook claimed in a statement that the pages were unpublished in response to the news outlet posting content that violated the Silicon Valley giant’s “hate speech and bullying policies.”
The embattled technology giant wrote in a blog post that the decision came to ban InfoWars came after users reported content with “dehumanizing language” to “describe people who are transgender, Muslims, and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies.” Despite the severity of the punishment, Facebook did not cite specific pieces of content they purport to have violated their rules.
Hours after Facebook removed a handful of InfoWars’ pages, Google-owned YouTube deleted the primary channel of Alex Jones. Watson took to Twitter to reveal the news about the channel’s permanent deletion, blasting the move as a “coordinated purge” carried out by Silicon Valley.
Apple announced on Sunday they are removing several of InfoWars’ podcasts, including the Alex Jones Show from iTunes. “Apple does not tolerate hate speech, and we have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users, An Apple spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. “Podcasts that violate these guidelines are removed from our directory making them no longer searchable or available for download or streaming. We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions.”