1. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Since Alex Jones was banned from Facebook, YouTube, Apple, Google Podcast, Spotify. TuneIn, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Audioboom, Pinterest, MailChimp, Stitcher, Disqus, Sprout Social, and LinkedIn, a variety of conspiracy theories are springing up to explain and/or exploit the situation.

    The simplest version is simply that of the "liberal media" and "liberal silicon valley" attempting to silence conservative voices. When Vox did a video about YouTube's advertiser problem with "extreme creators", this was shared as an example of silencing conservatives. Here's the video - it's not directly advocating censoring all the people mentioned:

    Source: https://twitter.com/AmericanFerengi/status/1027198335835353089

    Some typical replies:

    Source: https://twitter.com/MarkDice/status/1027106759087779840

    Source: https://twitter.com/MLChristiansen/status/1027068945985986561

    And a detailed response video from Stephen Crowder has this description:
    Obviously some spin from both side there.

    More extreme voices characterize it as a "Political Purge"

    Source: https://twitter.com/PrisonPlanet/status/1027162603418734592

    Alex Jones himself says:
    Jones has recently being pushing a general anti-China conspiracy theory, claiming that the "global elite have sold us out" to the Chinese, and that Russiagate is just a distraction from "Chinagate", or "Globalgate". In his "Official Statement on the Internet Purge" he fleshes it out

    No doubt this situation will evolve with more spin and interesting conspiracy theories. I think though it might be important to keep an eye on the "Chinagate vs. Russiagate" theory that Jones is pushing. What's the evidence he uses to back this up? Does it hold up to scrutiny?
    • Informative Informative x 1
  2. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    which of those in that video are extreme left creators? or did you mean to write "When Vox did a video about Youtube's advertiser problem with extreme conservative creators?"

    And if you ask for an example of extreme-left you will have to ask one of your conservative local neighbors to start posting on MB because I don't follow Youtube or politics enough to answer you. Antifa? They sound left.

    Now personally I'm down with companies making money off advertisers (Youtube wouldn't even BE a platform without advertisers, this isn't China where YOUTUBE is a State run platform). And if advertisers want to not be associated with conservative opinions, then those creators should get a real job and deal with the fact they can't make money off of advertisers who don't want to support their brand. Or they can start their own YOUTUBE and find their own advertisers willing to support their vlogging job. (That's the conservative way, after all).

    Sounds like Youtube IS silencing conservative voices
    But that is Youtube's right. It is a private business. Like I said, Alex Jones can take his millions he bilks off his followers and start his own video hosting service.

    It's also a bit funny/ironic Vox posted this bullying/shaming statement on Twitter (because Twitter isn't banning liberal or conservative voices).

    Source: https://twitter.com/voxdotcom/status/1027253162900635652

    As far as what Jones was calling ChiComm in the banned videos I watched. Y'all will have to try to have an intellectually honest discussion about that without me, because "trade" and "spies" bores me to no end. :)
  3. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    The link you posted says nothing about that. It says YouTube has unclear and inconsistently enforced moderation guidelines, with individual moderations acting overly aggressively.

    There's always going to be debate about where (or if) to draw the line, but this thread is about conspiracy theories around Jones' deplatforming, not the rights and wrongs of that deplatforming.
  4. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    if you don't think "gun videos" equates to "conservative voices" then there's no point in continuing the discussion.
  5. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    I will admit I don't understand your point of posting that Vox video. You're the one that brought up the Vox video. I watched it and I'm commenting on it in relation to the responses you posted that are also responding to the video. Youtube isn't "Commie Scum" (as one of your posts says) because Youtube is a private company and can do what they want.
  6. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    And as you know, "silencing conservative voices" isn't "springing up". That has been around for a while. Even just that thing about Google Company in California and that guy wrote that piece about the number of women in tech jobs. That was sold with the tag 'silencing conservative opinions'. I'm sure you are aware of that situation.
    So this is just an extension of an established conservative talking point. Just saying.
  7. The Night Wind

    The Night Wind New Member

    I suspect that the Media is selective about how it reports these things. If I remember correctly, Keith Olbermann was about to get a Youtube ban for his extremist positions, but 'retired' before that happened.
  8. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Sure, but the article did not even say YouTube is banning gun videos. The article is about the problems with YouTube's moderators being rather arbitary. Youtube's gun policy is:
    Obviously that's not pleasing to 2A folk, but that's not the issue here.
  9. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    you know damn well that doesn't represent conservative thinking. and you are twisting my words and examples.
    I also listened to the video again, thanks for that btw because its like 10 minutes of him being a nut. he doesn't say they should be burned alive.
    But I'm not here to defend Alex Jones.

    I didn't say they were banning gun videos. But regardless of their gun policies, the point is they pick and choose arbitrarily which guidelines they want to enforce. And conservatives feel their content on certain conservative channels is moderated more often then liberal content that violates policies.

    I don't understand how I am misspeaking that you are misunderstanding my points. So I'm out. You guys can echochamber this discussion :)
  10. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    I believe that. Good point.
  11. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    I brought it up to point out the conspiracy oriented responses to it.

    There's a variety of criticism of Jones' deplatforming. I personally don't think it's a good idea, as it legitimizes his accusations (now "they" HAVE tried to shut him down, as he predicted). But there's also just perfectly valid criticism in terms of freedom of speech, and monopolies with liberal biases.

    Obviously we are not going to resolve ideology here. The point of this thread was to discuss and follow the conspiracy theories that are arising around the issue - and in particular Jones' Qanon-lite theory about how it was orchestrated by a China backed elite worried about the stock market.

    What is or is not a "conspiracy theory" is tricky demarcation problem. We know something that are clearly false conspiracy theories, and some things that are clearly just facts. But there's a grey area where it's unclear, or contested, or both. This is especially true in ideologically sensitive topics. But we can't avoid discussing things in that grey area, unfortunately.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  12. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Quite possibly it is. If moderators are being given too much individual leeway and insufficient oversight with clear guidelines then there's going to be a bias in the moderation that (on average) reflects the demographics of the people doing the moderating.

    But I think we can still distinguish that from an actual conspiracy on the part of YouTube's management to skew things in that direction. Not that that's not possible.
  13. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    Many news pundits who defend free speech (liberals included), also disagree that the Jones' deplatforming is not a good idea. One reason is the idea Mick stated (added conspiracies).
    Such banning can lead to a highlighting of Alex Jones' ideas, and also highlighting the power of popular social content sites to strong-arm the censorship of ideas.
    In this case, there won't be a lot of conservatives defending Alex Jones because of his extremist content. Some critics of Infowars would rather let him be free to boil himself using his own words, and perhaps let the courts make judgements about his libelous content, such as letting the current Sandy Hook related lawsuits against him...play out in civil and legal court.

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2018
  14. Marin B

    Marin B Active Member

    A conservative talk show host, Michael Savage, interviewed Jones yesterday. The point he makes is that you can't take away one person's free speech because who will be next? So he decided to stick up for Jones. (1st amendment free speech is about the government not hindering speech, not corporations - but I guess that's a different conversation). Savage asked Jones about Sandy Hook, and Jones responded that it was taken out of context, that he believes people were killed, and that things he said were taken out of context. Not sure I believe that and I suspect Savage didn't either. I haven't listened to the entire interview yet - too difficult to stomach Alex Jones in more than small doses at a time. At the risk of violating no click policy:

    • Informative Informative x 1
  15. Agent K

    Agent K Active Member

    The Daily Caller called out Facebook for not censoring Farrakhan's antisemitic conspiracy theories and racist language. In response, Facebook deleted at least one of Farrakhan's videos, not for antisemitic conspiracy theories but for a racist word, and didn't ban his account.

  16. qed

    qed Senior Member

    But the Nation of Islam is a conservative voice, just black conservative. Certainly not liberal or left.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. qed

    qed Senior Member

    What is the difference between Facebook deleting a post because of it's content, and Metabunk deleting a post because of policy violation?

    Metabunk bans users and so does Facebook.

    Are both a violation of freedom of speech? Surely not.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. SR1419

    SR1419 Senior Member

    But that is not what happened to Jones. He still has his radio/tv show, his website, HIS platform. He is still free to speak freely...just not on youtube.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  19. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    I think this is a good question.
    I believe it is because Metabunk (and fair discourse) has policies about "keeping to the subject" and that posts should also include information relating to real-world circumstances, with references. Posts should not be insulting or controversial - just to try to gain an upper-hand, opinion-wise.

    Hurtful, insulting, or actually harmful words have never been the quality tools to attain an agreement or understanding or a resolution of an idea.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Ray Von Geezer

    Ray Von Geezer Senior Member

    Good point.

    I think it's also worth pointing out that Infowars blocks people for expressing dissenting opinions and/or showing evidence contrary to their narrative. It'd be interesting to collate how many in the conspiracysphere, alternative media etc that are complaining that Jones being deplatformed is a freedom of speech issue use exactly the same tactic.

    Ray Von
    • Agree Agree x 4
  21. derwoodii

    derwoodii Senior Member

    observation by media in OZ on Jones & the Q phenomenon..the rabbit hole is sadly very deep

    Planet America is info satirical political tv program
  22. Agent K

    Agent K Active Member

    Until his website is dropped by Name.com or Cloudflare, the way Cloudflare and others dropped the Daily Stormer. Cloudflare's unusual justification was: "The tipping point for us making this decision was that the team behind Daily Stormer made the claim that we were secretly supporters of their ideology."
    Three months before that, Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince wrote on his blog, "it is not Cloudflare's role to make determinations on what content should and should not be online," and, "The best way to fight hateful speech is with more speech."
  23. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    This Morning's top news stories regarding Alex Jones and Twitter
    Metabunk 2018-08-10 07-07-32.
    So I'd no be surprised if Twitter follows. But I'd not put any money on it.

    Jones is milking it, of course:
    Metabunk 2018-08-10 07-09-23.
  24. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    if that is true, that is definitely a bannable offense.
  25. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    They might. FB and Youtube was basically saying the same thing for years about Infowars. And then on a whim they decided [dramatic paraphrase] 'well ok, I guess we should implement our terms of service now' .
  26. Ray Von Geezer

    Ray Von Geezer Senior Member

    Cloudflare's justification isn't so unusual in context of being a "last straw" rather than the outright reason. For example DS had been blocking people who took issue with their ideas and content (There's that pesky double-edged freedom of speech thing again), people started complaining to CF who passed the complaints on per their policy. DS then started harassing and threatening those complainants.

    Cloudflare were clearly conflicted by what DS were doing, so obviously (IMO) co-opting Cloudflare as partners was that last straw.

    Ray Von
  27. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Article from the liberal-leaning Vox.com arguing that conspiracy theories are special, harmful, and hard to negate, hence justifying policing and silencing of conspiracy theorists.
    Of course that would be true in an objective sense, and it would certainly slow the growth of 9/11 and chemtrail conspiracy theorists if the main promoters of those theories were removed. But the huge problem here is who gets to decide what is or is not a conspiracy theorist? If someone promotes the idea that Obama was born in Kenya then should they be removed from Twitter? What if they theorize that Trump colluded with the Russian? Ban them?

    Slippery slope arguments are often bogus, but I think Vox's (Zack Beuchamp's) implication that we should deplatform conspiracy theorists in general is a dangerous idea. Perhaps for people who consistently repeat false and damaging information? But still, who gets to decide?
    • Agree Agree x 4
  28. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    and what hogwash. They are debunked. easily.

    Getting people to give up fantasies they want to believe contrary to all evidence, is a different story then debunking CT evidence. That article is badly written.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  29. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Related, the racist-tolerating Twitter alternative gab.ai is attempting to capitalize on the Jones event publicity

    Source: https://twitter.com/willsommer/status/1027591937715527682

    It's a bit odd that Microsoft would just want two posts removed, as there's a river of anti-semitism and racism on there, a search for "kill jews" (or just "jews") gives some examples
    Metabunk 2018-08-10 07-57-37.

    Note the "sensible" looking at the bottom is about the Microsoft threat. But it cropped up next to far worse posts than those which Microsoft issued their threat. So it may well be that gab.ai's days are numbered. There's probably a better case legally for that, with hate speech and all.

    The majority of Gab's users are okay with the racism and anti-semitism, or at least tolerate it. They took a poll
    Metabunk 2018-08-10 07-50-04.

    They are also fully aware of positives for them from the publicity. Patrick Little here is the Nazi who made the two posts.:
    Metabunk 2018-08-10 07-53-39.

    The two posts seem to have been removed though.
  30. Agent K

    Agent K Active Member

    It's that "whim" that triggers conspiracy theories. Why did all these platforms suddenly decide to drop Alex Jones? Did he do something that crossed the line? Or did some powerful force make them? Jones apparently claims that China is the powerful force. China does put pressure on companies, forcing Mercedes-Benz to delete an Instagram post quoting the Dalai Lama; forcing U.S. airlines to remove Taiwan's name, and forcing Google to censor Chinese searches about democracy, but I doubt that China knows or cares about Alex Jones.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
    • Agree Agree x 3
  31. qed

    qed Senior Member

    It is not clear, given your subsequent argument about China, whether you are mimicking CTs with that false dichotomy, or presenting it.
  32. Ray Von Geezer

    Ray Von Geezer Senior Member

    I agree regarding the China involvement being unlikely, but I can understand why Jones would claim it - he needs to "go big" but can't blame Russia.

    I can't agree that the action against Infowars is a whim though, it's hot on the heels of the publicity over the Sandy Hook family court cases. They've even made the mainstream news in the UK, and from conversations I've had there are people who have never previously heard of him wondering how he even has an outlet. Coupled with the pressure platforms like Facebook were already under over fake news and possible political interference then for Jones/Infowars it's a "perfect storm".

    As I see it, it's more a question of how they could not have dropped him.

    Ray Von
  33. Ray Von Geezer

    Ray Von Geezer Senior Member

    Your interpretation isn't the same as mine, they're not saying they can't be debunked as in the facts can't be refuted, they're saying the refutation are ignored - We all know how that works, poisoning the well, shill gambit etc. Any evidence against the conspiracy becomes part of the conspiracy. Dissenting views are blocked/deleted.

    It is a clumsy use of the word "debunked" but I think the point itself is valid and agrees with yours.

    Ray Von
  34. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    I'm not worried about how rational headed people interpret the article. My point was more that CTers will read that and think "aha, see? they admit they can't debunk Jones". It was badly written.
  35. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    he's been harassing people and inciting harassment over SH for over 5 years. And the fact he has been doing so has been all over the news for years.

    The last year or so he has been telling his followers that he never believed the parents were liars or the children didn't die. (a major lie, but still, he himself has been telling his followers the parents aren't liars).

    Since SH he has done the same to every victim of mass shootings Orlando, San Bernardino, Parkland etc. The question is .. how could they have not implemented their Terms of Service and banned him 5 years ago? 4 years ago? 3 years ago? After the Vegas shooting? after Parkland? Their Terms of Service hasn't changed.
    That's why I used the term "whim".
    • Agree Agree x 1
  36. Ray Von Geezer

    Ray Von Geezer Senior Member

    Only if they quote-mine and remove the context, even the rest of the sentence you clipped the quote from makes the meaning clear. It seems a little unreasonable to expect journos to craft their work around how someone might misrepresent it.

    Off the top of my head, in the past ~6 months Facebook has:-

    Faced widespread accusations that disinformation distributed on FB (along with other platforms) directly led to the Sri Lankan riots.
    Changed their policies to include a ban on content likely to incite violence rather than just direct threats.
    Been accused of aiding political interference.
    Admitted that large amounts of their user data fell into the hands of at least one party subject to criminal investigation.
    Been called before the government's of the USA and UK.
    Started running their "Not OK" campaigns, arguably as damage limitation.

    It doesn't matter what Jones got away with in the past, and to be honest the argument smacks of whataboutism. The landscape for FB and otheir mainstream SM platforms has shifted, and whether for cynical or honest reasons they're being forced to show they're trying to do something about it. As a head for the trophy room to say "Look, we're serious!" I can't think of bigger game than Jones, can you?

    Ray Von
    • Agree Agree x 2
  37. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    I think you mean the rest of the paragraph. as the rest of that sentence makes it worse.

    And we will have to agree to disagree that the writer wrote that paragraph badly. "attempting to refute" something is not debunking. ex: I didn't 'attempt to refute' SH got free houses, and called that a debunk. I proved they didn't get free houses and called that a debunk.

    we're going to have to agree to disagree about this too, because I can't picture how you are interpreting what Agent K and I are saying that would jive with that assessment. Their terms of service about harassment haven't changed. And I was speaking of harassment.

    But again, we will just agree to disagree.
  38. Trailspotter

    Trailspotter Senior Member

    Twitter suspends Alex Jones for one week
    • Like Like x 1
  39. Agent K

    Agent K Active Member

    He was reportedly suspended for inciting violence by telling supporters to get their battle rifles ready.
    Last week, CNN reported that Alex Jones violated Twitter's rules:
    Examples include advancing conspiracy theories about Sandy Hook and Parkland shootings, calling Michelle Obama a "tranny," claiming The Crusades were a "defensive" measure, and linking Muslim migrants to crime in Europe.

    David Duke is still tweeting about the Jewish "Enemy of the American people."

    Source: https://twitter.com/DrDavidDuke/status/1029597812470763520
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
  40. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    this is good to know. (quote below)

    But a quick PSA (public service announcement), please be sure to archive, not screengrab.. but use an archive service, any content you get taken down because we can't debunk things future hoaxers attribute to him or deny he said if we can't show honestly what he said.