According to recent reports, Alex Jones and his infamous “Info Wars” media empire has been censored and removed from Apple, Google (YouTube), and Spotify. This includes all videos, podcasts, and advertisements that are being stripped away. Despite these being separate companies, the bans all occurred within 12 hours of each other, according to Info Wars editor Paul Joseph Watson, whose channel is still up on YouTube at press time. This blatant act of censorship of political ideas is a perfect example why we need decentralized, censorship-resistant media, and why we simply cannot trust our media to an elite handful of social media oligarchs.
Alex Jones, Info Wars image from Variety.com
Alex Jones and Info Wars
For those unaware, Alex Jones is a controversial independent media figure who reports on and provides commentary on various political and social issues. He describes himself as a libertarian and paleoconservative. But as his views and opinions do not coincide with the overtly leftist and globalist viewpoints of the main social media gate keepers, Jones and his organization have been a popular target for tech companies and media elites for years.
Understand this: The censorship of Infowars just vindicates everything we’ve been saying. Now, who will stand against Tyranny and who will stand for free speech? We’re all Alex Jones now.
— Alex Jones (@RealAlexJones) August 6, 2018
This latest action, however, represents a clear political bias and demonstrates that social media behemoths are willing to censor whatever they find distasteful – even if it’s supposedly protected under free speech. Info Wars Editor PJW called this “cultural imperialism” in a recent video aimed at responding to the blanket bans.
PJW further claims that the reason why the bans were implemented, according to the social media giants, is that Jones’ channel allegedly used “dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims, and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies.”
For years,Alex Jones has spewed racial hypocrisy:
White militia groups taking up arms against police=Alex Jones: "we must fight tyranny & authoritarian government"
Black ppl killed by police=Alex Jones: "Learn how to obey authority"
— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) August 6, 2018
Some people like radio host Tariq Nasheed are happy to see Jones lose his various accounts.
But whether or not you agree with Jones’ message, or that of Info Wars, is irrelevant. The fact that these companies colluded to institute bans all at the same approximate time and against the same target demonstrates one simple fact. We need to move away from these hyper-centralized media giants that aim to manipulate public discourse through censorship and meddling with the public narrative.
These particular companies have been banning and censoring content that is not in line with their political leanings for years. But this is the first time they have acted against an account that previously had millions of subscribers and was a frequent topic of discussion on late night TV.
Decentralized Media a Potential Cure for Political Censorship
In the wake of Google, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube actively banning and shadow banning accounts of individuals they don’t agree with politically, a number of social media platforms have appeared that promise to never censor. These platforms also typically have some sort of tie-in with cryptocurrency, tokens, or are entirely powered by a blockchain in the case of projects like Akasha.
One site that we wrote about earlier, Minds.com, promises to be completely censorship free (as long as no laws are broken). The platform encourages people to participate and submit valuable content through a token rewards system. Those tokens can then be used to “boost” posts, guaranteeing they will be shown to a wider audience, or they could presumably be sold on an open market once the system exits its beta.
We checked in with Bill Ottman, the co-founder of Minds.com to get his opinion on what happened to Alex Jones and Info Wars. He told us:
Establishment social networks are digging their own graves by intensifying such unwarranted censorship. Not only are they amplifying the problems they claim to wish to solve via Streisand Effect and other memetic phenomena but they are causing a mass exodus of users to seek decentralized and open source solutions. Controversial ideas are essential to the evolution of healthy communities. This is empirically proven and if they wish to stay relevant they will immediately reverse course.
Another popular choice is Gab.ai, which also plans to use blockchain technology to encourage and shape user interactions with the site. It is also firmly anti-censorship.
A reminder that Gab and Minds are the only social media networks that uphold a standard of free speech which is in line with the Supreme Court's definition of the First Amendment. https://t.co/MMZEJgNWejhttps://t.co/Y3fvNgUVqF
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) August 6, 2018
Info Wars editor PJW seems to hold these two social media sites in high regard, calling them the “only social media networks that uphold a standard of free speech” that is compatible with the US First Amendment that protects free speech.
Here’s Why it Matters
The truth of the matter is that this isn’t about Alex Jones or Info Wars. It’s also not about left wing versus right wing politics. Instead, the combined and coordinated banning of these accounts across multiple platforms within a short time frame is indicative of the fact that these platforms and companies care nothing about the truth, or about freedom. The message they are sending instead is loud and clear. That message is, only do and say things that we agree with, or else.
The good news is that cryptocurrency-powered decentralized alternatives are here, and their user bases are growing each day.