though the internet is aflame with controversy over the coordinated
purge of Alex Jones and InfoWars from Facebook, YouTube, Spotify,
and Apple, there is no real transparency over their decision and
the process by which it was made.
Jones and InfoWars have been top Twitter trends for hours, and even some
left-wing journalists like Michael Tracey are decrying Silicon
Valley’s Masters of the Universe appointing themselves the arbiters of
free speech on the web.
Apple, Facebook, Spotify, and YouTube have offered, at most, only copy
and paste explanations for why they banned InfoWars content from their
platforms — or why, after months of pressure from the Democrats and CNN,
they all came to the same decision on the same day. Questions about
transparency have a much broader scope that just the case of InfoWars
and Alex Jones. Beyond the banning of
other individuals such as Tommy Robinson, the same questions apply to a
whole host of actions by the Masters of the Universe, including
partnering with foreign governments to shut down accounts, shadowbanning users
to limit the scope of their engagement, and mass user purges.
News sent the following questions to Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, and
Apple earlier today, and have yet to receive a real answer for most of
them. Apple and YouTube chose to provide the same canned statement they
provided to all other media outlets who contacted them, while Facebook
and Spotify ignored our request entirely.
QUESTIONS SILICON VALLEY WON’T ANSWER
What content specifically from InfoWars/Alex Jones was found to
be”hate speech” and otherwise rule breaking?
Paul Joseph Watson confirmed to Breitbart News that none of the tech
giants that targeted InfoWars and Alex Jones over the past 24 hours
pointed to specific content that violated their terms of service.
When was the decision to ban them made? What changed over the
course of a few days from when you defended not banning Infowars
a few weeks ago, Mark Zuckerberg defended InfoWars in
an interview, saying: ” “The approach that we’ve taken to false news is
not to say, you can’t say something wrong on the Internet… Everyone gets
things wrong, and if we were taking down people’s accounts when they got
a few things wrong, then that would be a hard world for giving people a
voice and saying that you care about that.”
what changed, why suddenly, and why concurrently with most other major
Who made the decision to take down Infowars?
unlikely that the decision to ban InfoWars was taken by a rank-and-file
Will you provide clear guidelines on “hate speech” including
defining hate speech in a manner that is clear to all users?
pressed by a member of Congress earlier this year, Mark Zuckerberg
admitted that he couldn’t
define “hate speech.” Yet that is the reason
that Facebook and other platforms gave for banning InfoWars and Alex
Jones today. Do they now have a definition? If so, what is it?
How does big tech plan to manage the incoming wave of demands to
censor and remove content from other conservative sites?
this one, for example:
Facebook/YouTube/Apple/Spotify communicate or coordinate with
Google/YouTube, Apple, Spotify, or any other tech platform that
recently banned InfoWars content prior to the takedown of Alex
Jones and InfoWars’ content? Did any representative or employee
of those companies reach out to Facebook/YouTube/Apple/Spotify before
they undertook similar bans?
was no apparent catalyzing event immediately prior to the censorship.
are the responses Breitbart News received from two of the companies
contacted in their entirety.
users agree to comply with our Terms of Service and Community
Guidelines when they sign up to use YouTube. When users violate these
policies repeatedly, like our policies against hate speech and
harassment or our terms prohibiting circumvention of our enforcement
measures, we terminate their accounts.
does not tolerate hate speech, and we have clear guidelines that
creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe
environment for all of our users. Podcasts that violate these
guidelines are removed from our directory making them no longer
searchable or available for download or streaming. We believe in
representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful
to those with differing opinions
other companies contacted by Breitbart News did not respond.
a day that has left evening left-wingers like the HuffPost asking “why
now?” the one thing that is clear is that the tech Masters of the
Universe have some explaining to do.