American Politics

Connecticut Communist Pleased When Social Media Crushes Infowars’ Free Speech #Infowars #SocialMedia

Sen. Chris Murphy, Democrat-Communist-Conn., is calling on other tech companies to ban more sites like InfoWars, and says the survival of American democracy depends on it. There’s no doubt that o4anews.com would be on his short list for extermination.

“Infowars is the tip of a giant iceberg of hate and lies that uses sites like Facebook and YouTube to tear our nation apart. These companies must do more than take down one website. The survival of our democracy depends on it,” Murphy tweeted Monday.

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In an earlier tweet, Murphy reasoned that private companies “shouldn’t knowingly spread lies and hate.”

Apple, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Spotify removed Alex Jones and his InfoWars show from their platforms in recent days, citing violations of their codes of conduct relating to hate speech.

Apple deleted all episodes for five of InfoWars’ six podcasts, including the popular “Alex Jones Show” podcast, which was hosted by Jones, a prominent conspiracy theorist.

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Facebook made a similar move by taking down four InfoWars pages after originally removing only certain videos it said violated its hate speech and bullying policies. Jones was previously suspended from the social media platform for 30 days.

Following that suspension, a Facebook spokesperson said:

“More content from the same pages has been reported to us – upon review, we have taken it down for glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanising language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies.”

The spokesperson noted that, despite the focus on Jones’s role in spreading conspiracy theories around events such as the 9/11 attacks and Sandy Hook school shooting, “none of the violations that spurred today’s removals were related to this”.

A few hours after Facebook announced its ban, YouTube also terminated Jones’s account on its platform. The company issued a statement that didn’t refer to Jones by name, saying only that:

“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.”

The specific rationale for Jones’s ban was his habit of appearing in livestreams hosted on other channels on the site, despite being subject to a 90-day ban.

YouTube also removed Jones’ channel from the platform.

“They’re invading the First Amendment,” Jones responded.

The lone major social network to still allow Jones unfettered access is Twitter, where the broadcaster has a “verified” account. As the count of companies acting against Jones and Infowars grew, some Twitter users began campaigning for that site to follow suit, tweeting to Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and chief executive.

Following the bans, Jones immediately turned to Twitter’s live-streaming platform Periscope to hit back at the tech platforms.

“Everyone must turn to Infowars as a standard to be saved,” Jones said. “Tell folks, ‘Hey, it’s the most censored thing in the world for a reason. Jones is dialled in, Jones knows what’s going on.’”

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James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
August 7th, 2018

 

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