For months now it has become more and more common for conservatives to be banned, shadow banned, have their content taken down, and more form social media platforms simply because they’re conservative. Of course, platforms doing this deny any such bias but it’s hard to look past it when someone on the right will post something mildly, if not even controversial at all and they will get in trouble but then someone on the left will post something much worse and nothing will happen to them. A perfect example of this is when The New York Times hired Sara Jeong onto their editorial board. Immediately after she was hired, old tweets of hers were dug up, and they were pretty bad. Here are some examples:
To say the least, Sara Jeong is a sick racist and terrible person. But amazingly, The New York Times did nothing about this despite an outrage from people on the right, and on the other side of the aisle many people on the left defended her and said she’s not really a racist because apparently, it’s impossible to be racist against white people because they’re the ones who oppress everyone. Which, I guess this is just all the more reason for people to rip on The New York Times, which I am definitely okay with.
That’s not the end of this controversy, though. Candace Owens, Turning Point USA Communications Director, and conservative leader mimicked Jeong’s tweets by replacing wherever “white people” was used and inserted “Jewish” or “Black.” Her account was suspended by Twitter who later called it an “error,” according to The Daily Wire
Lastly and mainly, conspiracy theorist and founder of Info Wars, Alex Jones, had most of his content taken down from Facebook, Apple Podcasts, and YouTube, according to The New York Times. Now, Alex Jones is a legit crazy person and has said some really crazy things in the past and he’ll get so worked up over them that it’s fun to watch. I see Alex Jones as a meme machine and a source of comedy, and nothing more. I don’t take anything he says seriously. He believes things like the Sandy Hook school shooting back in 2012 was a hoax, as was the moon landing, that the 9/11 attack was carried out by the Busch Administration, and most famously, that the government is turning the frogs gay by putting chemicals in the water. These social media platforms reasoning for taken down Jones’ content was that Jones was being hateful and a bully. As I said, I think he’s a crazy person and a dumpster fire of ideas and should not be taken seriously. And while the things that he says can sometimes be hateful, there’s no reason his content should have been taken down. Point being that many other conservatives are jumping on the bandwagon that this is an attack on free speech. I don’t think this is correct. In order for there to be a violation of free speech, the government has to be involved, and the government doesn’t have any part in these social media platforms.
Notice how we call these social media “platforms.” We call them platforms because unless someone is actually inciting violence, being abusive, or the like, people and different pages can post whatever they like without any kind of standard they have to meet. The problem though is that many of these platforms are acting more like publishers. Instead of letting anyone post whatever they want, if someone posts something they don’t like or agree with, they decide to take it down, suspend, or ban the person altogether. If these outlets want to be publishers, that’s fine. They just have to say that they’re being a publisher and not a platform that allows anyone to post anything. If outlets like Facebook and Twitter continue doing this and more conservatives keep getting banned, we’ll move away from these and form our own social media platforms that are fairer and in turn, these now major outlets will lose money and following.
All that being said, this doesn’t make what these social media platforms did to Alex Jones any less wrong because I do believe that what they did to Alex is wrong but this is not an attack on free speech. The purge against conservatives on social media must be stopped unless they truly don’t want conservatives using their services. Some have already started moving to other, more fairer platforms like Comvo, which is a free speech social network site. I don’t think many people want to move away from the major platforms like Facebook and Twitter, but I think that if this continues, more and more people will get tired of being censored and start moving to these other sites.