Infowars radio and TV host Alex Jones had his professional Instagram page banned, and was banned from Facebook on his personal profile today in the latest wave of Big Tech censorship.
Rather than informing the media universally through a press release, as Facebook has done repeatedly when making previous decisions, the social media behemoth apparently informed select left-wing media outlets of its decision to ban Jones on both Facebook and Instagram.
As a result, the reports are conflicting, and seemingly inaccurate.
Both The Atlantic and The Verge report that Infowars editor-at-large and YouTube content creator Paul Joseph Watson was also banned from Instagram and Facebook roughly an hour before he was banned from the platforms.
Additionally, The Verge reported that “Facebook and Instagram users will continue to be able to create posts praising them and their viewpoints,” indicating users are still able to freely share their information, while The Atlantic reported that “Any account that shares Infowars content will see the content removed; if an account violates terms on multiple occasions it will be banned.”
Both websites, and CNN, reported that the decision to ban Jones was made because he is considered “dangerous” without additional context.
Because Facebook chose to release information exclusively to far-left media outlets, average Facebook and Instagram users have no idea whether they will be permitted to share Infowars’ content, which includes articles, videos from four different news programs, and special reports from a wide array of different personalities.
While Jones was purged from most digital platforms in a seemingly-coordinated effort in August of last year, his personal Facebook account and Instagram profile were allowed to remain active. Facebook has not indicated why, 8 months after this initial ban, they chose to ban him now.
Earlier this year, a petition on a website ironically titled Free Press urged Facebook to ban Jones’ personal Facebook profile with a petition. It is unknown if this petition held sway over Facebook’s decision.
“I’m not a victim, I’m a target,” Jones said on the Thursday broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio and TV show. “The Alex Jones Show” is still available on the Infowars website.
Jones said that their decision to ban him on nebulous charges, which some reports have indicated claim he is anti-Semitic, represents defamation of his character.
“The ban is where they get into defamation,” said Jones.
Big League Politics contacted Facebook for comment on its decision, and did not receive a response in time for publication.
Facebook Will Create “Oversight Board” For Users to Appeal Censorship Decisions
A smidgen of accountability.
Facebook is planning on rolling out an “oversight board” to which users of the platform can appeal the censorship of content.
“Over the next few weeks, our nearly 3 billion users will have access to an independent review of difficult content decisions,” announced the company in a Thursday blog post.
Oversight Board to Start Hearing Cases https://t.co/AAaa2nPmsF
— Facebook Newsroom (@fbnewsroom) October 22, 2020
Facebook is describing the oversight board as a “global body of experts separate from Facebook that will make independent and binding decisions on the cases they choose to hear.” Facebook users will presumably have the option to appeal incidences of censorship to Facebook’s oversight board when they have exhausted use of Facebook’s existing censorship appeal process. However, the existing process is only available on a seemingly arbitrary basis, and it’s probably not unlikely that those who already aren’t in Facebook’s good graces won’t be allowed the opportunity to appeal to the oversight board.
The overseers are employed and selected by Facebook itself, casting serious doubt as to whether they’re genuinely impartial arbiters of social media censorship.
It’s hard to tell if this is a step in the right direction or merely a ruse for the monopoly to counter accusations that its arbitrary censorship process is undemocratic and authoritarian. In predictable fashion, the powerful Oversight Board is staffed almost exclusively with Soros-linked neoliberal progressives, some of whom have already advocated for a European understanding of “free speech” as opposed to an American one.
With great power comes great responsibility, and Facebook seems content to accept the former without the latter. It simply isn’t their place to declare what is permissible political speech.
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