(Natural News) Like him or hate him, the tidal wave of censorship and opposition that Alex Jones of InfoWars is facing from multiple social media platforms – most recently MailChimp – certainly raises vital questions which every American citizen needs to ponder: What is free speech? Is it the ability to express beliefs and ideas that are mainstream, socially acceptable, “normal?” Or is it the freedom to express beliefs that may be difficult for some to accept, that challenge the mainstream, that uphold certain religious beliefs, or that may even be absolutely ridiculous?
Yes, some of Jones’ ideas are really far out there, and his conspiracy theories are just that: theories. Even some in the independent media do not agree with much of what he says. But does that mean that he deserves the treatment he has received from social media platforms which have essentially ganged up on him by attacking him at the same time to cover each other’s backs legally?
Where is the outcry from the mainstream media?
Why is the mainstream media taking this lying down? If we were to rewind 30 years in history to the time before the Internet, would the media have accepted the shutting down of a publication read by millions of people because it presented far-out ideas? Or go back a further 50 years, and think about how book burning was the beginning of the end for freedom of thought and expression in Nazi Germany. The whole world was shocked at the destruction of those books – even though many people did not agree with the sentiments expressed in some of them, including in books by Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud. (Related: Health blogger threatened with jail time for advocating Paleo diet that cured his diabetes.)
In recent years, it seems that the understanding of what constitutes free speech has been changing slowly but surely, making it increasingly difficult for people outside of the straight-and-narrow to express their beliefs. For example, if a Christian speaks out against homosexuality – which is expressly condemned in the Bible – is that hate speech? Or is that person exercising their rights to both free speech and freedom of religion? If such speech is considered hateful, then why is it not labeled hate speech when members of other religions express views which are perhaps abhorrent to Christians, such as the concept that abortion should be acceptable? Or why are angry feminists allowed to express hatred against men without repercussions? (Related: Intentionally lying for political gain ruled protected free speech by federal judge.)
MailChimp joins the fray …
Taking it even further than mere censorship, InfoWars’ basic ability to conduct business has now come under attack, with both MailChimp and LinkedIn banning the company from using their services. In a statement to Media Matters For America, the company noted:
MailChimp doesn’t generally comment on individual users or accounts, but we’ll make an exception today. MailChimp notified Infowars that their accounts have been terminated for violating our Terms of Service, which make it clear that we don’t allow people to use our platform to disseminate hateful content. We take our responsibility to our customers and employees seriously. The decision to terminate this account was thoughtfully considered and is in line with our company’s values.
When certain groups with specific agendas start deciding what is and isn’t “hateful content,” free speech is curtailed, and from there it’s an easy descent down the slippery slope to total tyranny and control.
The fact is, very few people read the print media anymore; the vast majority of us get our information from online sources. Yes, some of the information online is awful, much of it should not be believed, and some of it is positively libelous. But when millions of people choose of their own volition to read what somebody has to say, that should be their decision to make. After all, social media platforms are just that: platforms. They are a means by which information is disseminated. That does not give them the right to decide what information is right and wrong, loving or hateful, good or bad. They don’t get to burn the books they don’t like just to please a dangerous minority.