“The Empire strikes back”: Right-wing media defend Alex Jones after Infowars is banned from several major platforms
Research ››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS & ZACHARY PLEAT
After Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, and iTunes all removed conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and Infowars pages from their platforms, several right-wing media figures leapt to the extremist’s defense. Jones’ defenders responded by criticizing and threatening “the entire rotten tech machine” and invoking a wide range of comparisons to support him, including Star Wars, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, reality TV star Kylie Jenner, and the Holocaust.
The Drudge Report: “APPLE REGULATES HATE.” The website’s homepage also featured a link to stream Jones’ show on Infowars’ website.
Frequent Infowars guest Marc Randazza: “They came for Alex Jones, and I didn't complain because I was woke. How many will they come for until they come for you?”
First they came for Milo, and I didn't complain because I was woke.
Then they came for Alex Jones, and I didn't complain because I was woke.
How many will they come for until they come for you?
— Marc J. Randazza (@marcorandazza) August 6, 2018
Far-right troll Jack Posobiec: Infowars has “the right to free speech within the law as much as anyone in America.”
Regardless of your personal view of Infowars, they have the right to free speech within the law as much as anyone in America
Standing up for freedom of speech is not an endorsement of someone's opinions, at least it didn't used to be
It's an endorsement of free discourse
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) August 6, 2018
DailyWire.com’s Ben Shapiro: “Apple and Facebook should not have banned @Infowars, even though I think the outlet is a flaming dumpster fire.”
I was on air. I spent the first 15 minutes of the show stating openly that Apple and Facebook should not have banned @Infowars, even though I think the outlet is a flaming dumpster fire. If you're going to attack me, at least be accurate. https://t.co/W5PSIuy7ca
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) August 6, 2018
Shapiro: Alex Jones is “a garbage heap. Social media are wrong to ban him.”
Dude's a garbage heap. Social media are wrong to ban him. https://t.co/oJIx2OSSQJ
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) August 6, 2018
Shapiro: Social media platforms “don’t tolerate voices like Jones while tolerating voices who are just as bad on the political Left.”
Breitbart: “The social media Masters of the Universe” banned Infowars but retained “many leftist pages with far worse content.”
Breitbart Editor Joel Pollak: “The actual, imminent threat to press freedom today is the ‘de-platforming’ campaign to pressure private companies to censor content and outlets that left-wing activists don't like.”
In practical terms the actual, imminent threat to press freedom today is the "de-platforming" campaign to pressure private companies to censor content and outlets that left-wing activists don't like. Such campaigns are often protected, and even applauded, by the mainstream media.
— Joel B. Pollak (@joelpollak) August 6, 2018
Breitbart senior tech correspondent Allum Bokhari: “If you want your first amendment rights to be more than words on a paper, now is the time to take action.”
Big tech is now the greatest threat to free expression on the planet.
If you want your first amendment rights to be more than words on a paper, now is the time to take action.@tedcruz is speaking out about this. @realDonaldTrump and @parscale need to weigh in too. https://t.co/Eb765bOBvE
— Allum Bokhari❌ (@LibertarianBlue) August 6, 2018
Right-wing YouTube personality Mark Dice: “Alex Jones is now an unperson, straight out of the plot of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four.”
Alex Jones is now an unperson, straight out of the plot of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. Regardless what you think of him and Infowars, this is the equivalent of digital book burning and sets a horrifying precedent for mass censorship by Big Tech.
— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) August 6, 2018
Media Research Center President Brent Bozell: “I don’t support Alex Jones and what InfoWars produces,” but deplatforming of Infowars “is part of a disturbing trend” meant “to satisfy CNN and other liberal outlets.”
Below is my official statement on Facebook, Apple and Spotify removing "The Alex Jones Show" and other InfoWars content from their platforms. pic.twitter.com/LJznYL1598
— Brent Bozell (@BrentBozell) August 6, 2018
Fox News contributor Nigel Farage: Alex Jones “is undeniably the victim today of collusion by the big tech giants. What price free speech?”
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) August 6, 2018
Weekly Standard senior writer Mark Hemingway: “Have we deplatformed Kylie [Jenner] yet for her conspiracies about chemtrails?”
Have we deplatformed Kylie yet for her conspiracies about chemtrails? https://t.co/xSAXgBmNl5
— Mark Hemingway (@Heminator) August 6, 2018
Breitbart’s John Nolte: “I am no InfoWars fan or Alex Jones fan, but if you are *not* defending speech you do not like or agree with, you are not doing the First Amendment correctly.”
Although there are some good people over there, I am no InfoWars fan or Alex Jones fan, but if you are *not* defending speech you do not like or agree with, you are not doing the First Amendment correctly.
— 'Sources Say' is Greek for 'Fake News' (@NolteNC) August 6, 2018
Right-wing activist James O’Keefe: “We will expose the entire rotten tech machine.”
Infowars targeted, taken off social media. These tech companies' practices are opaque and given their power must be made more transparent. We will expose the entire rotten tech machine. Are you on the inside? Contact us: VeritasTips@protonmail.com
— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) August 6, 2018
National Review’s David French: Banning Infowars over hate speech “is dangerous to free speech.”
1. Banning entities from social media platforms for violation of vague “hate speech” guidelines is dangerous to free speech;
2. There is a difference between hate speech and actual libel or slander.
3. Bans for the latter are prudent, for the former are subject to abuse.
— David French (@DavidAFrench) August 6, 2018
Townhall’s Kurt Schlichter: “I remember when True Conservatism (TM) didn't excuse leftist censorship.”
I remember when True Conservatism (TM) didn't excuse leftist censorship.
Am I the only one who feels like certain sinking establishment elements are happy to use liberals to clear away their competition?
— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) August 6, 2018
Former Trump staffer Matt Branyard on Fox Business: The “department heads of all the tech companies … are hardcore leftists. … It just makes me wonder who's next, whose unfavorable opinions will be targeted next for deplatforming.”
Radio talk show host Wayne Dupree: “Silencing a man isn’t proving he’s wrong… it’s proving that you believe he’s right but can’t afford everyone else hearing what he has to say.”
Facebook Decides To Shut Down Alex Jones' Infowars
Silencing a man isn’t proving he’s wrong… it’s proving that you believe he’s right but can’t afford everyone else hearing what he has to say. https://t.co/F5KyOtWO4t
— 🎙Wayne Dupree (@WayneDupreeShow) August 6, 2018
Radio talk show host Glenn Beck: “A very sad day for Freedom of Speech.”
Radio talk show host Joyce Kaufman: “First they came for Alex Jones. Who’s next? Who gets to decide what's hate speech and what's not?”
JOYCE KAUFMAN (HOST): Martin Niemoller said it best. He was just a pastor, Protestant preacher who was a foe of Adolf Hitler. Guy spent seven years in concentration camps. But he is best remembered for the quote: “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.” We can't forget that stuff. First they came for Alex Jones. Who's next? Who gets to decide what's hate speech and what's not. The Southern Poverty Law Center? How does that sit with you? Don't sit well with me. They brand people like me hate speech.
White nationalist Baked Alaska: “[T]his is a major aggression against conservatives.”
This is what the tech companies ban versus what they allow and glorify. Love or hate Alex Jones, this is a major aggression against conservatives, free speech, and the 1st amendment. Apple, Facebook, Spotify, YouTube, all moving in unison looks like corporate collusion to me. We must build our own empires or conduct an internet bill of rights. What do you think? #MAGA
Carl Higbie: “When will they turn that outrage on the rap community that is far more offensive?”
All these people on both sides are "morally outraged" by comments made by radio host like myself, @rushlimbaugh @seanhannity and comedians like @michelleisawolf @w_terrence and @SarahKSilverman. When will they turn that outrage on the rap community that is far more offensive?
— Carl Higbie (@CarlHigbie) August 6, 2018
White nationalist troll Nick Fuentes: “Today is the Pearl Harbor of the Left’s war on free speech. This changes everything.”
- Posted In
- Diversity & Discrimination, Media Structures & Regulations
- Infowars, Genesis Communications Network, The Drudge Report, Daily Wire, Breitbart.com, Media Research Center
- Alex Jones, Jack Posobiec, Ben Shapiro, Joel Pollak, L. Brent Bozell, Nigel Farage, Mark Hemingway, John Nolte, David French, James O'Keefe, Kurt Schlichter, Wayne Dupree, Joyce Kaufman
- The Alex Jones Show
- Extremism, Conspiracy Theories, Media Ethics