Left Begins Conservative Cyber-Purge: Alex Jones Banned
“I may wholly detest and disapprove of that which you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”– Voltaire
The leftist corporate crackdown on conservative speech and Chinese communist influence on American digital tech giants hit new levels Monday as Youtube, Twitter, Spotify, Google and facebook began their unified Orwellian purge of conservative media icon and nationalist-populist standard-bearer Alex Jones and his Infowar media empire from their platforms, labeling his material ‘hate speech,’ and setting predictable and dangerous precedent for outright violation of First Amendment rights to free speech, regardless of content. And it’s merely the latest step.
Jones, whose visibility and credibility have risen steadily in recent years as his ‘years in advance,’ predictive outlay of supposed ‘conspiracy theories’ have been fulfilled by daily headlines and actual events has explicitly been chosen as a test case for the banning of all conservative, libertarian and independent media voices from search engines and social media that serve as the de facto ‘nervous system’ of internet distribution systems. In an irony too rich and pervasive to be fiction, Jones long ago predicted that his program and his content would be banned from the internet and that it would signal an all out war of censorship against conservative messaging of any kind from cyberspace.
Jones’s removal from online video streaming monolith, YouTube, was met with celebratory cheers by liberal media outlets who praised the move as a ‘needed first step,’ in limiting dissenting voices and expository investigative journalism that has done irrevocable damage to the influence and monopoly of the mainstream media and leftist politicians they shill for. In his daily podcast and radio program heard by 15-million Americans weekly, Jones revealed that InfoWars main YouTube channel and several repeater channels that are used to distribute daily programming and additional content had all been deleted by YouTube overnight Sunday, wiping out years of archives and untold millions of hours of daily work by Jones and his reporting staff at his Austin, Texas-base headquarters. The outright deletion follows years of ‘strikes’ and warnings by the YouTube folks and last year, the unprecedented demonetization of Jones and other conservative content producers who had previously had the ability to turn their tens of millions of views, likes and shares into a revenue stream based on popularity alone.
YouTube’s removal of Alex Jones is just the latest example of dominant players in the digital communication realm using access policy and algorithm to silence conservatives and independent information outlets in what many see as an effort to avoid a repeat of 2016 election results, including the election of Donald Trump as President.
Last week, Congressional members asked for hearings into social media distribution practices after it was revealed that every Republican member of Congress had been ‘shadow banned,’ on Twitter. ‘Shadow banning,’ is the practice of making it impossible for anyone to see the posts and content of a given Twitter user and to hide their feeds and contributions from direct search results by other users. After receiving detailed reports and technical briefings from top conservative media producers and digital experts, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to slam the ‘shadow banning,’ practice as illegal and promised repercussions.
Late last year, facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg admitted in interviews and in subsequent Congressional oversight hearings that conservatives on the platform were being ‘throttled,’ or having their audience reach and distribution decreased by 80% or more, resulting in fewer likes, shares and followers for everyone from conservative media icons, politicians and average users expressing conservative or Pro-Trump views. Even President Donald Trump had been targeted, causing a 42% decline in his personal social media engagement compared to 2016.
Jones, who is presently embroiled in several lawsuits defending both his content and his reputation, told listeners Monday that several more lawsuits are in the works against platforms guilty of censorship, on both Constitutional grounds for violation of free speech and for destruction of private property for the loss of invested time and effort in producing content destroyed by the deletion of the channels housed on biased platforms.
In additional to monumental implications regarding free speech in America and whether arbitrary social standards can be used to censor public speech and media outlets, the Jones case also raises definitive legal questions about ownership of content and whether digital bandwidth providers like YouTube and others have the right to delete channels from existence, or whether such action constitutes a property rights violation against content producers who often use YouTube and other streaming sites as a digital archive or a creative storehouse of their work.
Some observers contend an obscure case in Nebraska may have already established legal precedent showing that destruction of digital video and audio footage is a property rights violation and that punitive and actual financial damages can be attached to the deletion of material by a third party. In a Nebraska criminal case, a conventional television station was awarded the right to seek financial damages after two disgruntled employees erased hours of digital video tapes from their archives as a final act of rebellion before leaving the station to protest a change in operational management. A forensic economist’s estimate of the value of the deleted video was based on the number of hours worked to record, edit and produce it, along with additional valuation based on historical uniqueness and the station’s inability to reproduce it. After defense attorneys argued unsuccessfully that nothing had been destroyed because the videotapes in question were still mechanically functional, the two employees were eventually charged with felony private property destruction after it was decided the footage they erased was indeed of a monetary value exceeding state statutory thresholds for a felony offense.
It’s unclear whether the Nebraska case can be brought to bear in Jones’ pending suit against Google for the platform erasure. What’s unavoidably true is that America is now in uncharted waters regarding private corporations and their treatment of freedom of expression as protected by the Constitution and whether U.S. courts will defend those rights, regardless of content.
VIDEO: RNC Chair Hammers Shadow Banning of Conservatives