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Title: Major Internet Platforms Ban Alex Jones
Source: Reason
URL Source: https://reason.com/blog/2018/08/06/platforms-ban-alex-jones
Published: Aug 6, 2018
Author: Zuri Davis
Post Date: 2018-08-07 05:53:34 by Deckard
Keywords: None
Views: 119
Comments: 6

Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, and Apple accuse him of violating their platforms' speech codes.

|||LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS/Newscom

Alex Jones' professional presence on several major internet platforms has come to an end.

Jones is a noted conspiracy theorist and the founder of the InfoWars website and podcast. In a Monday tweet, he confirmed that Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, and Apple had completely unpublished and/or removed his professional pages and podcasts. All four companies stated that Jones' inflammatory statements about Muslims, immigrants, members of the LGBT community, and other groups violated their terms of service.

"We believe in giving people a voice, but we also want everyone using Facebook to feel safe," Facebook said in a statement. "It's why we have Community Standards and remove anything that violates them, including hate speech that attacks or dehumanizes others. Earlier today, we removed four Pages belonging to Alex Jones for repeatedly posting content over the past several days that breaks those Community Standards." The company also called Jones a "repeat offender."

YouTube listed some similar reasons for its ban in an email to NBC News. Spotify and Apple removed the InfoWars podcast from their streaming services, though a number of InfoWars apps are still available for download on the Apple store.

Jones' banishment comes as social media giants attempt to balance free speech, onlight civility, and the fight against "fake news." Just last month, conservatives accused Twitter of disproportionately "shadow-banning" them when several Republican leaders, including Reps. Mark Meadows (R–N.C.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), and Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), found that their Twitter accounts did not appear on the drop-down menu in the search bar. (The shadowbans also extended further right, to people like white nationalist Richard Spencer and right-wing troll Mike Cernovich, though initially at least they did not affect Jones.) Facebook, meanwhile, was thrown into controversy after founder Mark Zuckerberg told an interviewer that Holocaust deniers should be able to post content on Facebook provided they weren't attempting to "organize harm" or attack someone else.

Though Zuckerberg's sister responded to that controversy by calling on the government to make certain kinds of speech illegal, she also suggested that social media platforms should not need to "decide who has the right to speech" and "police content in a way that is different from what our legal system dictates."

During the uproar over Mark Zuckerberg's comments, Reason's Robby Soave argued:

Policing hate on a very large scale is quite difficult given the frequently subjective nature of offense; we risk de-platforming legitimate viewpoints that are unpopular but deserve to be heard; and ultimately, silencing hate is not the same thing as squelching it.

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#1. To: Deckard (#0)

It seems to me this is like a store discriminating. Jones should sue them for conspiring against him.

A K A Stone  posted on  2018-08-07   7:14:45 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: Deckard (#0)

Nazi’s against the kooks. Paultards are not welcome.

I got my popcorn, I’m here for the comments. lol

I'm the infidel... Allah warned you about. كافر المسلح

GrandIsland  posted on  2018-08-07   7:16:56 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: GrandIsland (#2)

When they censor Alex Jones that make them content providers which means they can be sued for their other content on their platforms if it says supports terrorism etcetera

A K A Stone  posted on  2018-08-07   8:14:08 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: Deckard (#0)

she also suggested that social media platforms should not need to "decide who has the right to speech" and "police content in a way that is different from what our legal system dictates."

No one is demanding that social media platforms "decide who has the right to speech" and "police content in a way that is different from what our legal system dictates." They are taking it upon themselves to do that.

We simply object to the fact that only conservative voices are being silenced.

misterwhite  posted on  2018-08-07   10:31:52 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: A K A Stone, Deckard (#1)

It seems to me this is like a store discriminating.

So you agree with Gary Johnson that bakeries should be forced to make gay wedding cakes, or sued until they're bankrupt, and go out of business?

What twitter, google etc are doing is morally wrong but shouldn't be illegal. Business have the right to discriminate and only serve those that they want to.

The consumers should just refuse to patronize these jerk snowflake internet sites, who can't handle dissenting opinions. The market will punish them by going elsewhere.

hondo68  posted on  2018-08-07   13:44:15 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: A K A Stone, GrandIsland (#3)

When they censor Alex Jones that make them content providers which means they can be sued for their other content on their platforms if it says supports terrorism etcetera

I believe you have misstated what you tried to say, and confused content providers with publishers.

The Communications Decency Act (CDA) § 230 of 1996 protects content providers from liability or lawsuit depending on what court is making up its mind. In any case, it offers immunity to content providers.

By engaging in censorship, what are content providers may be converting themselves into publishers and fall outside the immunity protection offered by CDA § 230.

The below Law Review article is from 2002 and lots of litigation has taken place since, but as far as the immunity for content providers and the lack thereof for publishers, it appears clear and acurate.

http://digitalrepository.unm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1618&context=nmlr

New Mexico Law Review

32 N.M. L. Rev. 75 (2002)
Winter 2002

Comment: Untangling the Publisher versus Information Content Provider Paradox of 47 U.S.C. 230: Toward a Rational Application of the Communications Decency Act in Defamation Suits against Internet Service Providers

Bryan J. Davis

At 76-78:

But with the passage of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA), Congress immunized Internet service providers (ISPs) from suits arising out of user access to third-party-created defamatory material.

Why did Congress so generously immunize ISPs from defamation suits arising from user access to third-party content when newspapers, magazines, bookstores, libraries, and other sources of potentially defamatory content enjoy no such protection? Congress justifies the CDA's cloak of defamation suit immunity for ISPs on two main grounds. First, the federal government cannot create a web-watching army of sufficient size to scan the Internet for defamatory material because it would be ineffective due to the sheer volume of information available to the millions of users of the Internet. Second, the federal government does not want to regulate content on the Internet in hopes that ISPs will do so on their own without the government looking over their shoulders.

Although these justifications seem rational, the statute's defamation immunity for ISPs begs the question: Has Congress effectively eliminated a remedy for plaintiffs who want to hold ISPs liable for defamation that occurs in cyberspace? The plain language of the statute answers a simple "no." The statute only immunizes ISPs that act as "publishers" of third-party-created content. ISPs that act as "information content providers" are not afforded defamation immunity, because they are directly involved with creating the offending content, as opposed to ISPs that only allow access to third-party-created content.

A simple "no" to the question of whether 47 U.S.C. § 230 deprives plaintiffs of a remedy in cyberspace defamation claims against ISPs seems to have transformed into a "maybe," or arguably even a "yes" under the prevailing interpretation of the scope of the statute. The federal court cases that have addressed the defamation immunity afforded ISPs under 47 U.S.C. § 230 have not articulated an intelligible test for how to determine whether an ISP falls into either the "publisher" or the "information content provider" category when an ISP is implicated in co-creation of defamatory content. Instead, they adopt an approach grounded on the notion that the amount or quality of ISP editorial control over third-party content is dispositive of whether an ISP is a "publisher" or an "information content provider" under the statute. As a result, a paradox emerges. An ISP as a "publisher" of third-party-created content will not be liable for defamation, but an ISP that acts as an "information content provider" by co-creating content with third parties will be liable, even though an ISP is a "publisher" by definition, and therefore should not be liable under the statute. Stated differently, case law suggests that an ISP that simply allows access to third-party-created content will not be liable under 47 U.S.C. § 230 for defamation, and ISPs found co-creating defamatory content with third parties will also not be liable, even though those ISPs might indeed be "information content providers."

47 U.S.C. § 230, Protection for private blocking and screening of offensive material

nolu chan  posted on  2018-08-08   0:47:58 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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