I have the tendency to admit when I am wrong. This is one of those cases.
When I first heard about Alex Jones and Infowars being taken down from multiple sites, my first response was, “Okay. I support all far right AND centrists being booted from social media. They do nothing but attack one another. Let them build their own sites and attack each other until they cull their own ranks.”
One night and morning later, I see that is wrong. This is truly dangerous. I despise Jones, what he stands for and his followers. HE is dangerous. But not as dangerous as what has just happened by ANY means.
In truth, what has happened here is that corporations have taken (or been given) the unopposed right to silence any voice they so choose. No, it did not start with Jones. It will not end with Jones. And THAT is the danger.
What happened here is that corporations have used their terms of service to define hate speech and wield it as a weapon. The biggest problem with that is that corporations can change their terms of service at any time without warning.
Not only that but we have handed these corporations the right to define hate speech. That’s all well and good when you agree with their decision. However, their definitions are still up to them and can turn on you quickly. Let me give some examples:
I am a Social Democrat. Meaning I am against unbridled capitalism and hence capitalists. I post my views on capitalist corporate media. In effect, directly against them. If they so choose, they can consider my words hate speech at any moment.
I oppose Hillary supporters. That can be defined as hate speech if they choose. The same can be said for anyone that opposes Trump, Bernie, RNC, DNC, anything our government does. If you oppose anything which they support, the definition of hate speech is now in their hands, not yours. Your voice does not matter. Jones has millions of followers. Fanatic followers. How much more does your voice count than theirs? How much more of a fanatic can you be?
Yet that is not the end of the problem. Let’s say they do find another web host? What if the web hosting corporation objects and boots him from their servers?
Okay, so they buy their own servers. What if the corporate ISP decides to stop carrying their signal?
What if the antivirus corporations decide to block his channel as “dangerous”?
What if the web browser corporations decide to block him and any sources like him?
So many corporations have control over everything you watch, hear and read. Net Neutrality is gone. Those corporations can censor anything they choose, any time they choose.
Again, the question becomes who is next? Progressives have already been demonetized by YouTube. How much further is it to block them? We’ve watched the rising attacks on Assange, Wikileaks, Snowden, Manning, RT, Progressive candidates…
So many like to claim Trump is a fascist. Not that I disagree but this illustrates what I have been saying for a long time. BOTH sides are fascist. You cannot blame this one on Trump.
The thing about freedom of speech is that it has to be applied equally. To voices you do not agree with, not just the voices you DO agree with. If it is equally applied, YOU have the right to speak in protest. You have the right to NOT LISTEN. When that right is taken away from one person, one group, you know that more people and groups WILL follow.
Every single step into fascism is always portrayed as a means of “protecting” you, “keeping you safe”. It is ALWAYS about “unification”. “Us versus THEM”.
When do YOU become “THEM”?
How safe do you feel now?