Social Media Giants Shouldn’t Be Arbiters Of Appropriate Speech

Of course sites like Facebook, Apple, and YouTube are free to ban conspiracy mongers like Alex Jones from their platforms. They have a right to dictate the contours of permissible speech on their sites, and to enforce those standards either dutifully or hypocritically or ideologically or using any method they see fit. No one seriously disputes this.

Then again, Twitter also has a right, as a private entity, to take a stand, and, as the company’s CEO Jack Dorsey explains it, dispassionately allow free exchanges of ideas—even the ugly ones Infowars offers—as long as users don’t break the company’s rules. Yet, here we are, watching a number of journalists—supposed sentinels of free expression—demanding that billionaire CEOs start policing speech that makes them uncomfortable.

Jones, who has made numerous hateful, and reckless remarks, should make any reasonable person uncomfortable. In this regard, though, he’s certainly not alone. And if Facebook is now guaranteeing a platform free of unpleasant voices who break their vague terms of service, they have lots of work ahead.

To some extent, I can understand how frustrating it is watching a bigoted conspiracy theorist who has destroyed lives be provided a voice on a large media platform. After all, I’ve been trying to ignore Al Sharpton’s cable show for years. Yet if I were running a social media platform, I’d like to think I would allow nearly anyone— minus those who threaten violence or otherwise break the law—speak. It’s not as if users wouldn’t possess a block button. I can’t recall a single time in my decade using social media ever opening an Infowars link. I doubt most of you have either.  Even if you did, you wouldn’t melt. They’re just words.

And while the ejection of Jones isn’t the end of the world, and it doesn’t necessarily portend a mass expulsion of less extreme  voices, let’s stop acting like conservatives are foolish for harboring some concerns about the incrementalist goals of would-be liberal censors.

 Read more at The Federalist

Current News

White House lawyer cooperating a lot with Mueller probe

White House lawyer cooperating a lot with Mueller probe

White House counsel Don McGahn has extensively cooperated with special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian meddling, providing comprehensive detail on how President Trump has responded to the investigation, according to a report in the New York Times  Read more

Russia Hysteria Undercuts Our Values, Impedes Relations

Russia Hysteria Undercuts Our Values, Impedes Relations

The mainstream media and out-of-touch politicians and bureaucrats want us to believe that the Cold War never ended  Read more

Elizabeth Warren’s Batty Plan to Nationalize . . . Everything

Elizabeth Warren’s Batty Plan to Nationalize . . . Everything

Wholesale seizure and control of private property? With 2020 in her sights, Warren woos the hard Left  Read more

Trump cites Russia probe as a reason for revoking former CIA chief John Brennan's security clearance

Trump cites Russia probe as a reason for revoking former CIA chief John Brennan's security clearance

President Trump tells The Wall Street Journal he believes Brennan is among those responsible for the special counsel's Russia probe  Read more

Journalists are not the enemy

Journalists are not the enemy

A central pillar of President Trump’s politics is a sustained assault on the free press  Read more

What Dictators Can’t Dictate

What Dictators Can’t Dictate

Markets are more powerful than the sternest tyrant  Read more