Big Tech Ratchets Up Oversight on “Conspiracy Theorists” and “Fake News”
WASHINGTON – August 8, 2018
In less than a week, Spotify, Stitcher, Apple, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest have all taken action to either ban or crack down on InfoWars and its conspiratorial leader Alex Jones. The only platform exception so far has been Twitter, which says Jones has not violated its policies.
Of course Alex Jones has his faults, and many of his programs are classic conspiracy theories and rumors. But this is not about Jones' shortcomings or merits.
You can agree with Alex Jones or not, you even have the right to say he deserved to be blocked.
But that's not the point. The main issue is that now a precedent has been created, which makes it possible to kick out any person you don't approve of from virtually all social networks. Orwell never dreamed of a reality in which commercial companies decide whether a public debate its acceptable or not.
This is yet another reminder that Facebook and YouTube have an editorial policy, and their level of tolerance for conflicting ideas is lower all the time.
These companies want to show you that only what they think is permissible to say. They may soon have a full-on “Zero tolerance” policy for opinions that contradict their own.