This week, after years spent politely enabling Alex Jones to tell vicious lies about Sandy Hook families, September 11 victims, and what happens in the basement of a pizza restaurant in suburban Washington, D.C., the world’s largest tech companies began scrubbing him from their platforms. Citing to their community standards or terms of service, Apple, Facebook, YouTube, and Stitcher banned the network of channels and pages and podcasts with which he earned millions of followers. His email marketing client severed their relationship. Pinterest took away his pinbox. Even LinkedIn, a site that will normally do anything to get users to engage with it, asked Jones to find a different medium through which to tend to his professional network.
The lone holdout?
The service, which aspires to deliver breaking news and fun dog photos but in fact serves as a virtual playground for Nazis, will not be banning InfoWars, explained CEO Jack Dorsey in a plaintive follow-up thread, because it has no legitimate reason for doing so. If the company were to stop enforcing its principles “impartially” and “regardless of political viewpoints,” he wrote, it would “become a service that’s constructed by our personal views.” To Dorsey, things like “school shootings are staged” and “the government controls the weather” count as “political viewpoints” that he must protect from the dangers of creeping censorship.
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