Facebook Wages Info-War Against InfoWars
I don't have much use for InfoWars, and even less for Alex Jones. But editor-at-large Paul Joseph Watson -- who's even more of a libertarian than I am -- is often worth paying attention to. When Facebook shut down InfoWars early today (and now Apple has, too), Watson tweeted, "Infowars was widely credited with playing a key role in getting Trump elected. This is a co-ordinated move ahead of the mid-terms to help Democrats. This is political censorship. This is culture war."
And he's right. But first a little background.
Ten years ago, at the Democratic National convention in Denver, I made my PJTV debut doing what should have been a fun little fluff piece about hippies trying to levitate the Denver U.S. Mint. Their goal was to use communal psychic energy or what have you to raise the mint, then shake it around to make all the money fall out so poor people could take it. The event was led by a gentleman wearing a wizard's cap that wouldn't pass muster in an elementary school play, and was titled "Shake Your Money Maker."
You can't make this stuff up, and with the modern Left, you don't have to.
Michelle Malkin was there, we exchanged a few friendly words, then I went back to providing a little false dramatic voiceover to all the silliness. Then I heard, "That's Michelle Malkin -- get her!"
That's when I noticed the enormous Alex Jones and his posse making a beeline for Michelle.
Michelle is maybe 95 pounds and Jones is easily three of her, but Michelle held her ground without flinching. Our own Charlie Martin was there, too, and interspersed himself between Michelle and Jones. The shouting continued. This went on for a brief while, until it became obvious Jones wasn't going to be able to bully anyone, collected his posse and left.
We were a bit unsettled after all that. So Michelle, Charlie, myself, and the Founding Bloggers crew found ourselves a bar and did a round of shots -- this despite the fact that Michelle barely drinks and Charlie doesn't.
The video is still on YouTube, if you're interested.
Needless to say, in my experience Jones is a thug, or at least pretends to be one when the cameras are rolling. Whatever the case, that kind of behavior isn't cause to take him or his site seriously.
But there's a big difference between dismissing someone's antics, and shutting down their access to the world's biggest social media platform. It's true that Facebook is a private company and can ban who they like. But if telecommunications regulations apply, then they either have to police EVERYbody (and be held liable for stuff they fail to police), or keep the platform open to ANYbody.
Facebook has chosen the former, but I doubt they'll be held to account for it -- or for silencing so many other pages, almost all conservative and right-leaning. My other job is providing video commentary for BillWhittle.com, and YouTube has squeezed our traffic in half. Bill has about 120,000 subscribers, and only about 2% get his YouTube notices. We're still doing well on Facebook, but for how much longer? So if you want to know why I find myself standing alongside Alex Jones, it's because Facebook and the Electronic Left drove me there.
This is indeed a culture war, and the other side is powerful enough that we no longer have the luxury of picking and choosing our allies. The Progressive Left has chosen them for us.
This, to paraphrase Yoda, is why they'll fail. The radical part of the American Left is small in numbers, but occupy key places in key institutions, and believe they can get away with their bully-boy tactics. But by forcing the rest of us to band together, they seal their own doom.
Or at least that's the hope. Either way, we could probably use another round of shots -- and this time I'll even buy Alex Jones a round.