Leftist website Slate recently published an article titled “Alex Jones Gets to Declare a Real Info War Now” in which the publication described the actual censorship that Jones suffered while claiming that he has not really been prevented from airing his ideas.
Slate published an article recently discussing the recent purge of Alex Jones and InfoWars pages across social media. Facebook, Youtube, and Apple all removed InfoWars content from their platforms in the space of a single day, which seems to imply that tech companies may be colluding with each other when they decide who should be de-platformed.
The Slate article states:
War or not, Alex Jones fans still have plenty of options to get their fix of right-fringe conspiracy-laden news: Beyond Infowars’ website, there’s the organization’s mobile app, which is still currently available for download in Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store. Slate first reported Monday morning that the Infowars app was still up in the Apple App Store despite the Apple podcast removal. At that time, the app ranked No. 56 in the App Store among news apps. By Monday evening, following the removals from Facebook and YouTube, Jones’ app had climbed to No. 7.
Though Apple might merit credit for giving the other platforms some cover to take more serious action against Jones, who has been using the sites to disseminate frequently harmful false stories for years, the fact that Infowars continues to have an app on Apple’s App Store is glaring. For what it’s worth, Infowars still has a presence on LinkedIn and Instagram, too. But Monday’s bannings—and Jones’ response to them—raise a new question: Will the platforms’ actions diminish the reach of Jones’ conspiracy theories? (The more infamous of them include the false assertions that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax and that the survivors of the Parkland, Florida, shooting are crisis actors.) Or will Jones be able to use the bans to paint himself as a free-speech martyr, further cementing his audience’s devotion?
According to Slate, because Infowars can still use its LinkedIn account, they haven’t really been censored. While Infowars may retain access to its LinkedIn and Instagram profiles, the majority of its social media following was based around Facebook and YouTube. While it may still have access to those that follow on LinkedIn, its YouTube subscribers and Facebook follower figures far outweigh the LinkedIn following.
Slate then bemoans the fact that these platforms didn’t ban InfoWars earlier, calling Jones a “bigoted fabulist.”
One of the great ironies in this mess is that YouTube, Facebook, and Apple are all deciding to enforce community moderation policies against hate speech that they’ve long had on their books. Any one of them could have taken this action years ago. But they didn’t, perhaps fearing that they’d be labeled as censorious liberals executing a political agenda, as if there’s anything particularly partisan about preventing a popular and bigoted fabulist from using your services to spread lies that are leading to real-world harm. They helped Jones exit the fringe and penetrate the mainstream. Now their fear could be realized—they’re being labeled as left-wing tech companies acting out a political agenda by right-wing media critics.
And almost proving the collusion that many have feared, Slate states that big tech companies are “in it together,”
At least the tech companies are in it together. And, of course, Jones’ fans aren’t at a total loss: Their favorite broadcaster spent the day posting videos on Twitter, collecting likes and retweets by the thousands.