So yesterday or the day before, we’re not quite sure, Alex Jones’ InfoWars got “de-platformed” (a much more modern and, dare we say “progressive” term for the old Soviet practice of “un-personing” undesirables) by YouTube, Facebook, Apple and Spotify, all within 12 hours of each other, almost as if the whole thing had been previously coordinated by the lot of them.
But that would be a crazy thing to suggest, so we won’t. Much.
Now, this is not about the plight of Alex Jones and the impact this purge by the above social media monopolies has on us, personally, because it won’t have any impact on us whatsoever. We’re not in the market for frothing rants about vaccines causing autism, alopecia and cancer, nor do we have any particular concerns regarding “chemtrails” (mainly because we know how thermodynamics actually work) and we are most certainly not interested in the finest herbal snake oil supplements that money can buy.
We’re just asking the question that anybody even remotely interested in free speech should be asking themselves right now: “who’s next?”
Yes, we are well aware that the monopolies in question are “private companies” and, as such, can “ban anybody they feel like” and we also don’t give one flying fuck about that particular argument. Nor do we pay any attention to the one about how “they’re not the government, so it’s not about censorship”, because it is, indeed, censorship. It’s no violation of the First Amendment, that much is true, but that doesn’t make it “not censorship.”
If some particularly obnoxious or tedious (given His Imperial Majesty’s rather lax banning policy it’s more likely to be the latter) troll were to bore us to tears in the comments, so much so that we went on to ban him, it would be no violation of his First Amendment rights, but it most assuredly would be censorship. The most ineffectual and irrelevant bit of censorship imaginable, considering the utter lack of consequences for said troll. It’s not like he wouldn’t have approximately seven gazillion other websites to go drone at.
But where does somebody go when he’s been banned from, say, YouTube, Facebook, Apple and Spotify?
No, please don’t bring up examples of fledgling, no users platforms out there, because it’s a piss poor argument, almost identical to the one brought up by campuses when they say “what do you mean we have no free speech on campus? We have a “free speech zone” and everything, right over there behind the Porta Potties next to the construction equipment where we’re building a new football field!”
Speech is incredibly pointless if you’re only allowed to speak where nobody’s listening.
Now, some might say, like we pretty much did, that it won’t matter to us personally whether we have easy access to Alex Jones’ frothing rants because we’re not interested anyway, and others might say that they find him so intolerably obnoxious that they’re glad he can’t spread his nuttiness to a large audience anymore.
That’s not the point. And in the case of the idiots who think that society is somehow “improved” by forcing nuts underground, they couldn’t be more wrong if they tried.
We have some experience with the effects of putting a lid on certain opinions, given our upbringing.
Neo-Nazis, for instance. No, we’re not comparing Alex Jones to Nazis in any way, he’s just your average garden variety nutjob, but we need an example. Now, if you’re looking for a group of individuals who are really disgusting, you’d be hard pressed to find a candidate that fits the bill better. And when we were a young adult, we were fully on board with the benefits of keeping a lid on these bastards and their hateful, racist filth. No papers would publish them, no TV stations would interview them, no printers would print their books and nobody would hire them if they knew who they were. And if they did manage on occasion to get an unwary printer to help them spread their obscene message, they had to be extremely careful with the wording, lest they found themselves running afoul of my native country’s anti-racism law, earning themselves a bunch of arrests and possible stays in the gray bar hotel. That rarely happened, because they learned quickly how to carefully avoid it.
Their opinions didn’t change, however, they were, and are, as far as we know, still full-on Nazis.
So who cares? They’re disgusting! We agree and, as we said, we cheered such measures on without reservations. But did it benefit society?
Not even slightly. Quite to the contrary, as a matter of fact.
Yes, it did make it extremely difficult for them to spread their disgusting lies and propaganda, and we can certainly count that as a plus from a purely humanitarian point of view, but it also made it extremely difficult to effectively counter their hatred when they did manage to spread it.
We already mentioned that it taught them to be careful. It taught them very well. Getting an idea as to who they were, how many there were of them and just what kind of influence they might have was extremely difficult as a result. It’s not like they were about to proudly proclaim their ideology when they knew that they might land in the hoosegow as a result or get fired from their jobs as a minimum. It wasn’t impossible to get an idea, of course, it’s not like they couldn’t be infiltrated, it was just needlessly difficult and, potentially, detrimental to one’s health.
It would have been so much easier if we hadn’t forced them to build secret networks and keep their operations running in the dark.
“Oh, but at least it kept them from spreading their sick ideology effectively!”, some well-meaning folks might say. Yes and no. To be sure, it did make it difficult for them to get their party manifesto out to the masses but, in all honesty, it would have been better if they’d been able to.
Allow us to explain: When it’s hard for people on the street to get first hand, factual information about a phenomenon that they know exists, they’ll start to substitute actual facts with hearsay, speculation and other such nonsense. Because they won’t stop being curious, that would go completely against human nature. If we had a buck for every time we heard a “man on the street” say things like “there must be some reason why the government doesn’t want us to hear what they have to say”, we’d be very rich indeed. Funny thing is, when you then handed said man on the street a copy of the Nazis’ manifesto and allowed him to read it, his interest in what they had to say plummeted to zero immediately and his reaction, in 99.9% of cases, would be one of revulsion, shock and disgust.
Wouldn’t it have been easier and much more effective if he’d been able to read it on a Nazi website, fresh from the horse’s mouth, so to speak?
We very much doubt that it would have led to the masses flocking around a Nazi banner, based on our own experiences and, moreover, based on comparing neo-Nazis over there to neo-Nazis over here.
Neo-Nazis in Europe are a real concern. Neo-Nazis in the U.S. of A. are the tiny LARP’ing community that we all enjoy to point fingers and laugh at. There is no mystery attached to Nazis in the U.S., because they’re right out there in the open, making fools of themselves and demonstrating just exactly why they’re repugnant twats who should be shunned at all costs.
All of this to say that even if you absolutely hate, hate, HATE Alex Jones, you should still think very long and hard before you declare his “un-personing” a Good Thing.
And, going back to a previous point, you should also spend a lot more time wondering who might be next. Because you know that this isn’t the end, unless you’re a complete idiot.
Leftist fascists never stop. They can’t stop purging, because without the purge they’re nothing. Every demand of theirs that is met only leads to fresh demands so they can keep their unwashed mobs outraged and baying for blood. Because if their mobs aren’t hunting scalps, they’d cease to be useful weapons in the left’s pursuit of power. Absolute power. Over everything.