A man often accused of being a wild conspiracy theorist would seem to have been proven right at least regarding the current conspiracy of major social networks working in tandem against him and his operation. Yes, massive billion dollar level social media has simultaneously tried to ban the works of one Texan and his small team who have been doing their honest best to “Make America Great Again” for a few decades before that expression even came into use.
Alex Jones’s plight raises not only issues about freedom of speech but about the current state of the 50 States and in this piece I will try to provide some Russian context to this situation which is my specialty and personal my duty.
Alex Jones is more than one man, he is the beloved central figure in an a powerful media network that gets many millions of views (or listens) per day on various formats. Jones often mocks CNN, who’s ratings and Youtube results are dismal in comparison to his crew’s achievements, however without major media platforms Jones is going to have one heck of a time keeping up these numbers.
First off, we need to be clear about one factor of this issue that seems to be ignored by the often overly emotional swirling seas of the blogosphere. Neither Alex Jones nor any of this crew have actually been convicted of committing any crime. Nor are they even facing any charges. This is not a reaction to any court proceedings, Jones has not been convicted of anything in a court of law.
All in all, InfoWars and Alex Jones are accused by the big social media networks of using “hate speech”. The specific incident of hate speech, in which video(s) and on what day(s) has yet to be revealed, and will probably never be revealed because the accusers simply do not care. They simply do not like Alex Jones’s message and that is all the justification they apparently need.
This is a terrible day in the history in free speech and perhaps another nail in the coffin of the positive effects of the Enlightenment on American society. Since the end of the Cold War the Voltarian concept of “not agreeing with what someone says, but defending to the death their right to say it” is dying very quickly and when (if) that dies America might not ever be able to be great again. Which for me personally would be a tragedy.
We actually need people with different viewpoints to have a voice. Although throughout my career I have ripped apart, Voice of America, The Moscow Times and Echo of Moscow for their destructively Liberal and anti-Russian positions, I would never want any of them to be banned. Criticism helps and having a few voices tell Russia that it is “corrupt, barbaric, backwards, collapsing, etc.” forces us here to either find the reasons to defeat this informational attack, thus strengthening our own position and rhetoric or it forces us to accept that we are not perfect and there are many problems in this country that need to be solved. Some criticism from the opposite side is very healthy and productive.
During the Soviet period this did not happen and the massive one-sided censored state media offered no opportunity for the USSR to take a look at itself in the mirror or at least take on some helpful or harmful criticism. This doomed Communism because there was no mechanism to hone and sharpen ideas. Again if we are constantly criticized for our beliefs we either perfect or change said beliefs. The USSR in a sense just chose to go hide in a closet and tell itself how great it is for a few decades till it collapsed.
The fact that the leadership of these social networks do not understand the very most basic fundamentals of the way freedom of speech works means the Alex Jones case proves something possibly very scary. These people are either very ignorant or very totalitarian and sadly for myself and many of you, we fall on the enemy ideas list of said totalitarians.
Since we don’t even know just exactly what they believe Jones did, just that it is Hate Speech it really opens the door for these platforms to get rid of any Christians, Conservatives, Libertarians, Nationalists, Patriots etc. at any time because their beliefs for Liberals are inherently “hateful”. Furthermore, Jones is one of the biggest fish in the pond meaning getting rid of bloggers with 10,000 subscribers will be no trouble at all and they will now have the precedent to do so.
Facebook has been trying to alter their algorithm(s) to address fears that people will leave the platform because it has “too much politics”, but this is impossible because politics and ideology are ingrained in everything. Essentially, what they have been doing is trying to put the their thumb down on the politics that makes them uncomfortable, to make a huge online “safe space”.
Although this whole event is a bad day for America, Facebook migration could be good for Russia as its VK.com platform could provide for some sort of “ConIntern” of Right-Wing Conservative voices from across the planet. This possible because Russian social norms are different. Every culture has their own taboos, version of blasphemy and so on, but Western Conservatives don’t violate Russian social norms, so it may be time to really advertise Russia’s VK.com as “a voice of freedom against totalitarian Zuckerberg and his chums”. Alex Jones won’t be getting any Hate Speech charges for his views in the land of ice and snow.
Maybe it is simply because I am an American that I see opportunity even in dire situations but now would be a great time to give Mr. Jones his freedom of speech on a different and Russian social network. It would be a great PR moment for the Russian nation and to be honest, America really needs Alex Jones right now on some viable platform somewhere, he is 100% American, 100% Pro-American and he has the personality and drive to save to restore the nation.