On Monday, August 8, 2018, YouTube removed Alex Jones’ page and selected pieces of content from its platform, following similar moves by Apple, Facebook, and Spotify. Youtube released the following statement: “All users agree to comply with our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines when they sign up to use YouTube... When users violate these policies repeatedly, like our policies against hate speech and harassment or our terms prohibiting circumvention of our enforcement measures, we terminate their accounts.”
Oh please, let's be honest with one another.. this is simply a concerted effort to drown out a voice the reigning media giants don't want to hear.
As the online media titans Facebook, Apple and Spotify decided to remove the InfoWars founder's content over the weekend and into Monday, the question we had was, "Why?"
If you don't know much about Alex Jones, we can give you a quick primer. For many, Jones is simply a "hate monger" who pushes a bleak and divisive agenda for commercial gain. He hosts The Alex Jones Show from Austin, Texas, which airs on the Genesis Communications Network across the United States and online. Jones runs a website, Infowars.com, devoted to conspiracy theories and what he believes to be fake news. Until today, he also relied on social media, Youtube, Apple iTunes, and Spotify to spread his message.
Jones has been at the center of many controversies, including his promotion of The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting conspiracy theories (he believes it was all a hoax) and his aggressive opposition to gun control. Jones has accused the US government of being involved in the Oklahoma City bombing, the September 11 attacks, and the filming of fake Moon landings to hide NASA's secret technology. For many, these ideas would just be the rantings of a certified lunatic.
His more than odd message has found a home in the minds and hearts of millions of Americans. According to media measurement firm SimilarWeb, Infowars.com receives over 16 million visitors a month. He has also claimed that several governments and big business have colluded to create a "New World Order" through "manufactured economic crises, sophisticated surveillance tech and—above all—inside-job terror attacks that fuel exploitable hysteria".
But so what? In America, Jones is simply utilizing his First Amendment Right of free speech. But not one major news outlet has been outraged by these media platforms taking a pickax to the constitution.
BuzzFeed News reported Sunday that Apple has taken down the majority of Infowars’ six podcasts from its iTunes and Podcast apps, citing violations of the company’s hate-speech guidelines. “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." Let's be truthful if iTunes can allow Comedians like Bill Burr, Dave Chappelle and other raunchy/irreverent comics it can allow Alex Jones.
Spotify has now removed all episodes of The Alex Jones Show podcast from its site. For Spotify, this is the epitome of a hypocritical farce. The amount of sexually and racially explicit content from today's pop stars could fall under the same umbrella that Infowars has been placed under.
As Jones is in the process of losing his Facebook pages, his ability to spew his filth may be hampered for the time being. But as many of these media platforms decide to mask their disgust for Jones' content under the guise of violation of "terms and conditions" or "community standards", they are essentially turning a blind eye to our nations Constitution. Free speech is free speech, and we cannot select who's speech we decide to protect. It is a far more disturbing sign that more groups aren't troubled by corporations silencing voices they believe should not be heard.
We get it, Jones is despicable. His message is irresponsible and doesn't belong in mainstream culture. However, freedom of speech is freedom of speech. If you are appalled at how Colin Kaepernick is being treated by the NFL, you should be terrified at how Alex Jones is being treated by Facebook, Youtube, Apple, and Spotify.