Progressives: Don’t Turn on Each Other Because of Alex Jones (Part 3)

progressives, Alex Jones, online censorship, Jimmy Dore, free speech, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google
Alex Jones (on the left) crashed an interview that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida, on the right) was giving reporters on September 5, 2018. Taken from a screenshot (video).

In Part 2 of this series, I talked about the incidents that happened since Alex Jones was banned from various platforms. I also talked about how I felt about Jones being targeted. Additionally, since I found out that the U.S. government (and the European Union) was involved, it made me think deeper about the issue of online censorship.

Now, it’s been over a month since I last visited this series, but a lot more has happened on this front. Before I can get into the nitty-gritty, I will need to talk about a few of these developments.

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Alex Jones: Is His Banishment an Issue of Free Speech?

Alex Jones, Apple, Facebook, Spotify, YouTube, free speech, social media, censorship, violating terms of service, hate speech
Original image by Michael Zimmermann [CC BY-SA 4.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons
No, Alex Jones’ banishment from a host of platforms is not about free speech, but it has started on interesting conversation among progressives.

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Free Speech for All, Even on the Internet?

free speech, Internet, Write Anything Wednesday

While I was offline, there were more developments stemming from the violence in Charlottesville, VA. I already talked about the planned protests by white supremacists, but I plan on talking about more of the details in the coming days. But one caveat of this discussion involves free speech, which I will discuss now.

I was made aware of this issue because of an article on the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s website. As the writers of this article point out, the actions of the services involved set an alarming precedent.

What Happened?

The Daily Stormer, the Neo-Nazi website which was used to help organize the event in Charlottesville, became embroiled in a controversy involving freedom of speech.

Sometime after the attack in Charlottesville, the writers at that site insulted Heather Heyer, the woman who died when she was run over in Charlottesville in a heartless, disgusting article.

Days after that article, The website was essentially taken from the open Internet by GoDaddy and Google. GoDaddy, a domain hosting service, kicked the Daily Stormer off its service and Google cancelled the website’s Internet registration.

This move forced the Daily Stormer to move to the Dark Web. The managers of the website took to twitter on Tuesday, August 15, to tell their followers how they could access the website after the takedown.

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We Cannot Let This Stand: Net Neutrality and More

net neutrality

In the past, I have talked about the issue of net neutrality because it is an important issue for me. In fact, it should be an important issue for anyone using the internet because of the wide-reaching implications.

It’s amazing to think that the Internet started as a research project due to Americans fears of Communists from the Soviet Union. But by 1973, it grew from a greater project funded by the United States. From its humble beginnings it grew the Internet as we know it because of scientists and researches across the globe.

Congress first allowed Internet to be used for commercial purposes. But did lawmakers foresee that internet providers would try to monopolize the infrastructure for themselves? In any case, we have far too many lawmakers now who want to facilitate that.

I was first made aware of net neutrality in 2012. And I think that awakening has made me a bigger First Amendment proponent. I hope you’ll understand why.

Anyhow, I have been collecting information about this issue for a few months, especially since the change of power. Many observers know net neutrality would be under fire with Trump in office and we are seeing things play out.

That said there’s a lot to discuss, including what we can do about it.

Continue reading “We Cannot Let This Stand: Net Neutrality and More”