Politics

The Censorship of Alex Jones and InfoWars

Following months of calls for the censorship of InfoWars by Democrat lawmakers and Alex Jones’ mainstream media competitors, the hammer finally found its nail on a hot and humid Monday during these dog days of summer 2018.

In a series of sweeping and decisive moves, InfoWars content was yanked from YouTube, Facebook, Spotify, and Apple iTunes all within a 12-hour span. Go ahead and mark it down: August 6 will be considered a watershed moment in the battle for free speech in America.

As it stands, Jones and InfoWars have been permanently removed from the YouTube and Facebook platforms while Spotify and Apple iTunes have removed every episode from their podcast directories. It appears that these platforms are operating in tandem in the same way corporations or politicians “denounce” or “condemn” public figures who step to the right of the confines of the Overton window—so you can expect an overt Twitter de-platforming somewhere down the pike. You can also expect a continued practice of zero consistency in dealing with far-left extremists such as The New York Times writer, Sarah Jeong, who recently made headlines across conservative media platforms for hateful tweets against white women and suffered no consequences for it.

Alex Jones has been around for decades now and it has been truly amazing to see him rise from an obscure conspiracy theorist into a household name worldwide. To his fans, Jones is a patriot, thought leader, and hero. To his enemies, he’s a con-artist, hate-monger, and lunatic—but in between the black and white, there’s a vast ocean of gray. He’s probably a man of convictions who now has a multi-million-dollar business to upkeep at the cost of sacrificing his authentic self at times. In that spirit, there are instances where he has gotten shameless with click-bait material and downright tasteless in coverage of events such as the Sandy Hook massacre.

Love him or hate him, the man knows how to provoke strong emotions from those both inside and outside of the political landscape. Regardless of which side you fall on, it should be alarming to any red-blooded American who values free expression and meritocratic capitalism to see Jones censored this way. Much like President Donald Trump, the wild Texan will go down as a historical figure—an enigma in the truest sense of the word.

(Credit: Facebook/PolitiFact)

The first time I ever came across Alex Jones was back in 2007, during my sophomore year of college while smoking tobacco out of a hookah and watching the movie Waking Life in my friend’s dorm room. The flick is a philosophical mindbender chock full of hippy concepts, explorations of consciousness, existentialism, the meaning of dreams, free will, and life altogether. It begins in the main character’s dream state and flows as a series of random encounters that bleed into each other. At one point, the dreamer realizes he’s asleep but can’t wake up and begins to think he might be dead. Nonetheless, there’s a scene with Alex Jones riding around town in a classic car shouting passionately from a PA mic for people to wake up and fight for their freedom, to challenge the status quo of a Democrat vs. Republican political system, and to break free from mind control enslavement doled out by corporate media propaganda. When Waking Life was released back in 2001, it embodied what I always thought liberalism was all about—but today the left is something completely different.

For the most part, Jones is still beating the same drum while leftwing authoritarians are doing their best to shut him up. His biggest crime has been calling out globalism for the anti-humanism that it really is, and riding the Trump phenomenon to meteoric new heights during the 2016 election. Say what you want about him, he knows how to pick a winning race horse.

While Jones has morphed into a media colossus in the years that have passed since I had my mind blown by Waking Life, the companies now attempting to gag his mouth have also grown from startup tech companies into humanity- altering behemoths. Take Facebook, for example.

Back in 2007, Facebook was still almost exclusively for college students. I remember when you needed a .edu email address just to be able to use it. My, oh my. Things have changed. At a certain point, Facebook became less interested in being a fun new way for college kids to network online, and they realized the true revolutionary potential of their product—a tool to maintain liberal control over the status quo. Facebook no longer exists as a database for embarrassing keg-stand pictures at fraternity house parties, but instead worked closely with three letter intelligence agencies under the Obama administration to pick winners and losers at the highest stages of media and politics through the utilization of custom algorithms that control what its users are allowed to see. Don’t even get me started on the facial recognition technology being used and the back-door sale of personal information of its users.

Up until now, we’ve seen mostly subversive violations of free speech coming from these companies through practices like Twitter’s “shadow banning” or YouTube’s demonetization practices and Community Guidelines strike system.  James O’Keefe’s outfit, Project Veritas, has done some really great work exposing how these companies toy with their algorithms so that a conservative Twitter user’s tweets never really make it into the public space for the world to see, unbeknownst to the user.

President Trump boasts a higher approval rating than Barack Obama did at this point in his presidency and a die-hard base with no real equivalence in recent history, but when is the last time you saw some pro-Trump hashtag trending on Twitter?

I don’t know if Jones will go down as a Galileo or other historically vindicated “heretic” that challenged the status quo of their time, but I will say this: the blatant censorship we’re witnessing will only rally his followers and ascend him to new heights. Jones is now “too big to fail.” Matt Drudge and Drudge Report are the proof of this. The site continues to grow in popularity despite virtually no online social media presence whatsoever. InfoWars’ app and website will continue to put out content independently and new social media startups such as BitchChute, Gab, and Minds will continue to host his shows. These platforms seem to have sprung up solely to serve as a fly in the PC police ointment and are taking advantage of the ever-growing dissention to the tyranny at our doorsteps.

The people who will really be hurt by this dangerous new precedent are those who have not yet reached the “too big to fail” status Alex Jones enjoys. There is an army of independent and contrarian content creators out there relying on social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc. to be heard. Make no mistake about it, they stand in the crosshairs of Communist China-style censorship going forward.

Left-wing apologists will argue that these social media giants have every right as private companies to do whatever they wish to do with the content being put out on their servers, but the counter to that argument is that we have monopoly laws in this country to prevent private companies from being able to abuse such power. These companies are now so big and maintain so much control over the public consciousness that they should be treated like utilities rather than private companies. No one gets to decide who is worthy of water or electricity. In 2018 and beyond, social media continue to be the critical factor in the dispersal of ideas, truth, journalism, and the future well-being of humanity’s collective psyche.  Breitbart calls them the “Masters of the Universe” for a reason, and no one should wield that much power.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
T.B. Lefever

T.B. Lefever is an active police officer in the Metro-Atlanta area. Throughout his career, Lefever has served as a SWAT Hostage Negotiator, a member of the Crime Suppression Unit, a School Resource Officer, and a Uniformed Patrol Officer. T.B. is also a certified Field Training Officer. He has a BA in Criminal Justice and Sociology from Rutgers University. Follow T.B. on Twitter @tblefever.

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