Deplatforming: The Banning of Free Speech

When are words "unsafe"?

Social Media BanThe concept of the "Fairness Doctrine" is where Democrats wanted the government to force media outlets to give "equal time" to Democrats for every successful program like Rush Limbaugh, rather than the Democrats figuring out how to appeal to enough people to be successful. But the Wikipedia article makes it sound like it was just an FCC policy introduced in 1949 and revoked in 1985 by a meanie Reagan appointed FCC chairman. But read a bit further in the Wikipedia entry and it will be clear this has been a continuing theme of the Democrats to attempt to ban free speech. And now, via social media tech giants like Facebook, Twitter & Youtube, they may have partially accomplished their goals. Not by forcing those platforms to give them "equal time" but by getting them to deplatform opponents to Democratic Party policies.


MAINSTREAM MEDIA vs NEW MEDIA

The problem is, the networks have been controlling not only the dissemination of information but the bias of information. No honest person can claim NBC, ABC, and CBS are NOT left-leaning platforms. They have always been promoters of Democratic Party policies. The staff and especially the producers and anchors of their "news" programs are all leftists. Add to those original 3 networks, the plethora of newer networks like CNN, PBS, BBC, The CW, Univision and the saturation of leftist-leaning propaganda should have had the Republican Party screaming for the Fairness Doctrine to be used in their favor since clearly their ideas were unrepresented by the mainstream media. But instead:

"In 1985, under FCC Chairman Mark S. Fowler, a communications attorney who had served on Ronald Reagan's presidential campaign staff in 1976 and 1980, the FCC released a report stating that the doctrine hurt the public interest and violated free speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment." -- wikipedia

As a matter of fact, many of Reagan's staff thought that the repeal of the doctrine would simply open the floodgates of leftist criticism of Reagan.

"The only thing that really protects you from the savageness of the three networks—every day they would savage Ronald Reagan—is the Fairness Doctrine, and Fowler is proposing to repeal it!" -- video below

In 1986 the Fox Network started and besides radio, gave the only real balance to the Democrat networks. But talk radio was dominated by conservatives because radio unlike television networks relies more on its audience than by financial sponsors. Radio shows quickly fail if the audience does not support it, whereas TV "news" seems to continue even when its ratings are very low. The point is, the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine finally allowed a capitalistic, freemarket, American view to rise. Again, this initially came through radio and the Fox network but with the advent of the Internet, the concept and idea of free speech would finally be realized. These new outlets for information would eventually be termed; The New Media.

INTERNET AGE and the NEW MEDIA

When the Internet moved from a mere collection of university bulletin board systems (BBS) and into full-fledged content platforms, it allowed almost anyone to represent their views on this free medium. With this new platform, anyone with a connection could connect with people all over the world. And if you didn't like what they were saying, you simply moved on to another website. This is (or was) the nature of the Internet -- a real free speech soapbox for all. There was really little that would get a person "banned" from the Internet. It was a truly free market of ideas...even ideas that the Fairness Doctrine would not help to be heard. But now in 2018, people are trying to roll back that freedom by silencing voices they oppose. The main way that this new 21st century book burning is occurring is by having the social media platforms claim certain voices are "unsafe" or are violating the platforms "terms of service" even while not explaining how it was violated. Once this is done, the voice is silenced by banning their content from the platform.

ALEX JONES SHOW SHUTDOWN

Alex Jones which is represented as a "conspiracy theorist" perhaps began his career in earnest when he was able to infiltrate the all-male Bohemian Grove secret society of powerful men; often future and ex-U.S. presidents. Jones accomplished this in 2000 and recorded video of the very strange ceremonies. From there, Jones has become known for reporting on potential conspiracies; from the 1995 Oklahoma Federal Building bombing, to the 2001 "9/11" attack on the World Trade Center to the Sandy Hook school shootings in 2012. This has made him a target of many who would like to see him silenced. They claim his views are "unsafe" or "hurtful".


Jone's Internet media outlet known as Infowars at Infowars.com has allowed him to further present his views on these potential conspiracies. But when Donald Trump campaigned and became president in 2016 cited Jones as having an "amazing reputation" during an interview with Jones, the mainstream media could not allow Jones to continue. He was becoming too influential.


The network CNN led the effort to have Jones deplatformed; removed from all social media platforms so his influence could be silenced.

"On August 6, 2018, Facebook, Apple, YouTube and Spotify removed all content by Alex Jones and Infowars from their platforms for violating their policies. YouTube removed various channels associated with Infowars, including The Alex Jones Channel, which had amassed 2.4 million subscriptions prior to its removal. On Facebook, four pages that were associated with InfoWars and Alex Jones were removed due to repeated violations of the website's policies. Apple removed all podcasts associated with Jones from its iTunes platform and its podcast app. On August 13, 2018, Vimeo removed all of Jones videos because they "violated our terms of service prohibitions on discriminatory and hateful content. Jones' accounts have also been suspended on Pinterest, MailChimp and LinkedIn." -- wikipedia

Whatever is thought of Jones, the colluding act of all these social media platforms to silence him is unprecedented and unAmerican in the spirit of free speech. While someone may argue that Facebook, Twitter and these others organizations are private organizations that can operate their organizations how they see fit as long as they aren't doing anything illegal, and that is true. It is also true that these platforms are behaving in a very anti-American manner that ironically the Fairness Doctrine in principle should have stopped. These platforms are in essence the new networks of our current age. We once again are at a point in America where mainly Democratic Party policies are being propagandized into our culture.

NEXT PLATFORM

It is possible that beyond these social media platforms, various Internet Service Providers (ISPs) could stop people from even getting on the Internet. Perhaps what we need is the legal and binding law that allows for all non-violence advocating voices to participate, even on privately controlled "public" social media platforms. Further, people have considered leaving Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms and starting new sites. This is certainly one way to combat the Democratic Party censorship of their opponents but historically it has simply relegated the differing voices to even a less influential location. It would be like saying someone has free speech but only inside their own home.


So, the next platform must be something that allows all voices a place along side all other voices. The social media organizations and their CEOs and founders have a responsibility of furthering that American ideology of openness and freedom. If they are going to call themselves a "social" or public platform, then they need to allow the people to decide if they want to support Jones or any other person. It is interesting that these platforms are trying to stifle Jones at the height of his popularity. It is time for the CEOs and founders of these social media organizations to lead the way against the bullies that want to have opposing views silenced. Regardless of their political views, these CEOs and founders could send a clear message that the American idea of freedom is going to continue to be present and foremost on their platforms.

BIGGER THAN THAT... Yes Facebook is for light, amusing things like cat videos and your child's first poopy picture. And it is for keeping in contact with friends & family but it is also bigger than that. It has become the modern public square where people are sitting on virtual park benches, or huddled around each other at the edge of the street. They are engaged in all sorts of discussions. Some you'd like to hear and others you rather just pass on by. So here we are folks, in the new 21st century world. The banning and deplatforming of voices you don't want to hear is dangerous. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and these other social media giants are, "private businesses" and like a store could ask you to leave their establishment. That's true. But social media is now bigger than that. They have a responsibility to allow the convo on the "park bench" to progress even if it "offends" the passer-by. We ALL should be outraged when a voice is silenced not by an audience that ignores it (as should be the course), but by some authority that decides for us what we can and cannot hear. That is REAL FASCISM!

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