Did social media do the right thing by banning Alex Jones? ~ Jefferson Graham (usatoday.com)


Good afternoon fellow Seekers,

The following op-ed, while it doesn’t reflect my personal view of the outcome of all this. It bares the necessity to show both sides of an argument. Jones has been doing everything but outright daring the social/media GIANTS to do exactly what they did, in no uncertain terms. Be careful what you wish for.

I’m not for banning of boycotting anyone’s material. Unless it’s advocating violence against any faction of the populace of this great country. Or anywhere on the planet for that matter. If you didn’t like Jones’s material. Change the channel or scroll on. It’s nothing but click baiting trolls that push for banning or boycotts of a given view or person. But that’s the way of the left…always the victim. Never the perpetrator.

Here’s more from Jefferson Graham and USA Today…

For weeks, critics have been all over Facebook and YouTube, asking what would it take to get the Alex Jones show removed from these social media platforms.

It’s finally happened, and swiftly. Facebook and Google owned YouTube, along with Apple Podcasts and Spotify, just removed the videos and podcasts from their platforms. Why did this happen, and why did it take so long?

Alex Jones is a longtime broadcaster who traffics in conspiracy theories. He questioned the validity of the Sandy Hook kindergarden murders, and said the survivors of the Florida high school shooting were actually actors. Among other things, he accused Hillary Clinton for running a child sex ring out of a DC pizzeria.

Jones is clearly a provocateur who thrives on pushing the limits–that’s one successful way to gain following online.

He’s got a fan in the White House, with Donald Trump, who appeared on his show as a candidate, and told Jones, “Your reputation is amazing.”

Jones has picked up an audience of millions of viewers and listeners on Apple Podcasts, Facebook and YouTube. YouTube is the most financially relevant of the platforms, as it was splitting ad revenues with Jones.

His InfoWars channel has been struggling with Facebook and YouTube, having pages taken down and getting banned by YouTube temporarily for violating community standards.

But now, after getting his first strike from YouTube, the platform went all the way, saying Jones violated community standards. “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.”

So now all the networks have piled down on Jones, which in turn will probably make him even more popular with his followers and enable the far right to complain that social media is biased toward liberal ideology.

Brent Bozell, who leads the conservative Media Research Center, said that while he doesn’t support Jones, he also disagrees with the outcome. “It’s a dangerous cliff that these social media companies are jumping off to satisfy CNN and other liberal outlets,” he said.

But let’s face it, Jones dared the platforms to do it, and he got what he wanted. Banning can have the opposite effect in bringing more attention to the cause.

Now the question is whether the social media companies made the right decision.

The firms do not want to police their members and become the thought patrol about what is fake and what’s accurate.

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, recently said he wouldn’t remove Holocaust deniers from the social network because he didn’t want to be in the role of deciding what is “fake news” and what is legitimate. This, despite the baby steps Facebook and others have made to label news stories as authentic following the interference in our 2016 elections by Russia.

I’m all for the networks finally taking action.

You could argue that doing so puts them down a slippery slope, but let’s not forget how they make their money. Facebook and Google are advertising supported.  And as you know, despite the best intentions of the networks, a self-service ad platform ends up putting ads in places marketers never dreamed of. What brand would want to be associated with Alex Jones?

They had to do it. People get their news from social media, right or wrong. And just like the broadcasting networks have standards, social media platforms need to have a set of standards as well. Violate them, and you’re out.

And I should note that Jones is still alive and well on Twitter, where he has nearly 1 million followers. He’s been very busy boasting about being banned from the Internet. Everywhere, it should be noted, but Twitter.

For more from UT click below…


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Veritas vos liberabit, “The truth shall set you free”

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