You won’t hear them on MSNBC, but I thought it was worth noting that there are a few vocal leftists defending the right of Alex Jones to exist on mainstream internet platforms. Wait a minute, let me get this Alex Jones meme/video out of the way…
I’ve been accused countless times over the past 24 hours of “defending Alex Jones” — again, it’s so much easier to scream about how horrible he is than to grapple with the grave implications of his sudden cross-platform banishment https://t.co/hrObdp7ya5
Glenn Greenwald sent out a series of tweets noting the decline in support for the 1st Amendment by some on the left.
In 2011, US Supreme Court ruled Fred Phelps could not be barred, or even sued, for protesting with vile signs at funerals, due to free speech. All Justices (except Alito) agreed. Phelps had been represented by ACLU. None was “defending Phelps” &, yes, it was a hill to die on.
Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and—as it did here—inflict great pain. On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker. As a Nation we have chosen a different course—to protect even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate. That choice requires that we shield Westboro from tort liability for its picketing in this case.
This issue is complicated by the fact that Youtube, and the like, are private companies with the right to create their own rules. But these aren’t just the corner store. These are international monopolies…
Comedian Jimmy Dore (and Kyle Kulinski of Secular Talk) did a whole segment on the subject:
This is a really smart, nuanced, informed @Slate interview by @IChotiner of Barry Lynn, a long-time critic of Silicon Valley’s monopoly power. This is highly worthwhile for anyone who has views on (or wants to think about) the Alex Jones banning https://t.co/oKsV5yQlHR
This implicitly criticizes the other tech giants for succumbing to outside pressure. The rationale Facebook, YouTube, etc. gave for the Jones expulsion made no sense — which is sort of inevitable when you cave to demands to take arbitrary action https://t.co/d4C5va6hHp