Twitter stands firm … Just about every social media/internet company jumped on the ban-wagon to remove InfoWars’ Alex Jones from their services. Much to the consternation to those in the anti-free-speech media, Twitter has not banned Jones. In a defense of the site’s decision, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, aka @jack, offered a defense worth reading in a tweetstorm.
Truth is we’ve been terrible at explaining our decisions in the past. We’re fixing that. We’re going to hold Jones to the same standard we hold to every account, not taking one-off actions to make us feel good in the short term, and adding fuel to new conspiracy theories.
— jack (@jack) August 8, 2018
Accounts like Jones' can often sensationalize issues and spread unsubstantiated rumors, so it’s critical journalists document, validate, and refute such information directly so people can form their own opinions. This is what serves the public conversation best.
— jack (@jack) August 8, 2018
What Dorsey is telling the Oliver Darcys of the world is that they must learn to tolerate the existence and even publication of differing points of view. Absent violation of the terms of service, Twitter isn’t merely going to ban someone for thought. While there have been instances in the past where I’ve questioned Twitter’s actions, this is a good place to start, although Dorsey later said he agrees that tools need to be developed to fight disinformation and that he “can’t build a useful service without the integrity journalists bring.”
When tech giants stand for free speech against the collective weight of the left-wing anti-speech movement, we should offer our support.
Bonfire of the vanities … In 1497, Dominican Friar Girolamo Savonarola whipped the populace of Tuscany into an anti-Medici, anti-art frenzy. It culminated in the bonfire of the vanities, where art, books, and other “sinful items” were burned. Over the past week we’ve seen the torch passed, from Savonarola to the media gatekeepers of today.
Yesterday the left-wing site Vox piled on to Alex Jones by suggesting that YouTube remove the channels of some of my colleagues at CRTV. In the tweet, which republished an October 2017 YouTube video, Vox claimed it was “not just Alex Jones.”
It's not just Alex Jones: YouTube's most extreme creators are pushing the platform into a tough debate and censorship and free speech on the internet. pic.twitter.com/ZhG8BRLfOT
— Vox (@voxdotcom) August 7, 2018
If you go to the 39-second mark in the video, you will see a “Brady Bunch”-style montage of the offending YouTube hosts. Prominently featured were CRTV’s Steven Crowder and Gavin McInnes.
I said earlier this week that this wasn’t going to stop at Alex Jones. I was right, quicker even than I imagined.
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Robert Eno is the director of research for Conservative Review. He is a conservative from deep blue Massachusetts but now lives in Greenville, SC. If you see something you’d like him to cover, tweet him @robeno.
Sad … Yesterday morning I was informed by the Newseum gift shop that my order of the hilarious “You Are Very FAKE NEWS” T-shirt was canceled. This morning I received formal notification of the same via email. I posted the image and “thanked” the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake and CNN’s Brian Stelter for bullying the Newseum into canceling pre-existing orders.
Links … Here’s what I’ve been reading and watching over the past couple of days
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Robert Eno is the director of research for Conservative Review. He is a conservative from deep blue Massachusetts but now lives in Greenville, SC.