Conspiracy theorist and provocateur extraordinaire, Alex Jones has run afoul of some of the policies of many of the largest internet platforms. Facebook, YouTube, and even Apple gave him the boot. In official statement on Facebook’s blog, their rationale for removing Alex Jones and InfoWars content is as follows:
“As a result of reports we received, last week, we removed four videos on four Facebook Pages for violating our hate speech and bullying policies. These pages were the Alex Jones Channel Page, the Alex Jones Page, the InfoWars Page and the Infowars Nightly News Page. In addition, one of the admins of these Pages – Alex Jones – was placed in a 30-day block for his role in posting violating content to these Pages.”
However, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is taking a very different stance on Alex Jones’ statements and his freedom to express them, provided that he stay within the terms of service on his platform, saying in response to questions about why Twitter, unlike some of its competitors, has not suspended Alex Jones:
Accounts like Jones' can often sensationalize issues and spread unsubstantiated rumors, so it’s critical journalists document, validate, and refute such information directly so people can form their own opinions. This is what serves the public conversation best.
— jack (@jack) August 8, 2018
Whether Twitter will continue to resist pressure from outside sources remains to be seen. That said, it is refreshing to see a social media platform taking a principled stand for what is considered heterodoxy in today’s political climate on social media.
I, personally, do not agree with many of Alex Jones views, but I also believe that sunlight is the best disinfectant. What do you think?