STATEMENT
Alex Jones, Infowars and the internet
08 Aug 2018
BY INDEX ON CENSORSHIP

Index believes that all speech – eccentric, contentious, heretical, unwelcome, provocative and even bigoted – should be protected unless it directly incites violence.

Social media and tech companies — as private entities — have the right to set whatever terms they choose, but the patchwork, inconsistent and opaque terms of service approach to policing speech online leaves them open to political and societal pressures. We strongly encourage the adoption of terms of service policies that maintain the widest possible scope for free speech online.

This means we – as users – will have to tolerate the fraudulent, the offensive and the idiotic. The ability to express contrary points of view, to call out racism, to demand retraction and to highlight obvious hypocrisy depend on the ability to freely share information across the evenest possible playing field.

Any other course of action will – in the end – diminish everyone’s right to free expression.

Jodie Ginsberg: “The idea that we can prevent future crimes by policing expression is a dangerous road to go down”

Crimes motivated by misandry — a contempt for men — ageism and prejudice against certain alternative cultures, such as goths or punks, may soon be added to hate crime legislation in England and Wales.

Adopt a ‘human rights by design’ approach towards regulating online content, say civil society groups

Global Partners Digital, Index on Censorship and Open Rights Group are concerned about recent government proposals and announcements related to the regulation of online content, which could have significant adverse impacts on human rights, and particularly freedom of expression.

Proposed changes to the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill are welcome

Index on Censorship welcomes the amendments to the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill proposed by the Joint Committee on Human Rights.

Groups call for public inquiry into Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder

Index joins international organisations in calling on Malta’s government to hold a public inquiry into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

7 responses to “Alex Jones, Infowars and the internet”

  1. Someone says:

    You claim accept that private companies “have the right to set whatever terms they choose” Yet you proceed to attack and undermine a vital freedom that we all enjoy. Nobody should be forced to play host or “tolerate” “the fraudulent, the offensive and the idiotic” You strongly encourage private companies to adopt “terms of service policies that maintain the widest possible scope for free speech online” – but this is entirely illiberal, curtailing the ability of non state actors to maintain discourse within reasonable bounds without recourse to state coercion.

    You complain that “the patchwork, inconsistent and opaque terms of service approach to policing speech online leaves them open to political and societal pressures.” But I *want* social media to be open to political and societal pressures, to understand the impact of the service they are delivering, rather than blindly empowering harmful bad faith actors.

    You cannot simultaneously complain of inconsistency and opacity – creating consistency creates verbiage and hence opacity. The truth is that private corporations owe their users only a very basic level of explanation for refusing to give them a platform. They are not the state, and they should not be obliged to expend their resources setting up quasi-judicial beauracracies for individuals to litigate their non-existent right to an audience in. I note that IoC has gone for opacity – you don’t even have a commenting policy – but presumably, you would not abide me passing libellous comment on your platform.

    Controlling speech by the state is illiberal. But what you are proposing is even more illiberal. It brings to mind the serried rows of private citizens in dictatorships around the world, forced to stand listening to the words of a dictatorship they do not agree with. Even more fundamental than the right to free speech is a right not to participate in speech you do not agree to. I am of course not comparing coercion of Facebook to tolerate what they consider beyond the pale to coercion of North Korean citizens.

    You talk of “the ability to express contrary points of view, to call out racism, to demand retraction” InfoWars never retracted. They don’t engage with evidence, reality or empiricism. They will not be rebutted in the marketplace of ideas, because they are selling the narcissistic escapism and scapegoating with which reality and rational thought cannot compete. And in this respect, they are entirely like Index on Censorship. Index on Censorship, whose narcissistic worship around the shrine of free speech, as though belief in this creed would cure the world of all falsehoods, when the evidence – the Russian meddling, Cambridge Analytica, the Brexit bus and “so called experts” – demonstrate this free speech fundamentalism doesn’t match with empirical reality – that fake news sells.

    • Anonymous 4GoodReason says:

      In reply to the aforementioned comment, posted on Aug 21st at 2:35pm, by the poster who calls them-self ‘Someone,’ in reference to their statement: “…Even more fundamental than the right to free speech is a right not to participate in speech you do not agree to….,”

      Not only is that statement such a blatant contradiction in terms, but I beg to differ on the context with which you appear to be asserting such so called principles. This is exactly where free speech comes in to play, because you can’t have one without the other. Yes we have the right to remain silent, but of equally important measure is also our ability and our right to speak up and stand up for what we believe in, without fear of reprisal or censorship. That is what truly defines the liberty the forefathers of this country fought and vied for.

      The corporate construct of this world has been taking advantage of it’s citizen’s ever since their inception and so have the heartless scumbags whom control them, due to their tyrannical power and influence, and thus their over-reaching ability to promote whatever agenda they wish, no matter how good or bad it may be.

      Abraham Lincoln saw this impending bad influence upon our society and he was smart enough to call it out on the carpet for exactly what it is:

      “The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption will follow and the money-power of the country will endeavor to per-long its reign, by working upon the prejudices of the people, until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the republic is destroyed.”–Abraham Lincoln

      He was not, however, the only one throughout our history, whom could see through this facade of the corporate empire——-through all the lies, deception and manipulation they’re all absolutely, unequivocally guilty of committing against “the common people,” as they often like to refer to us.

      Their actions upon our society have very much so created the ridiculous and convoluted and demoralizing mess we now live in today. Their actions have absolutely plagued our society many times over with their polluting, unhealthy products. And their own deceptive rhetoric to boot, further demeans us by attempting to quell that which gives us a voice, that which allows us the freedom to denounce such injustices in the first place!——-Palease!——-Spare us the idiocy——-Palease!

      That is exactly why the corporate thugs of this world to try to persuade the public at large to the contrary——-so that they themselves can keep up this deleterious charade——-because it is infinitely more profitable for them, while at the same time being so vastly de-humanizing for all of us.

      Thomas Jefferson recognized this wolf in sheeps covering just like many other smart individuals before and after him and he wasn’t afraid to call it for what it really is either:

      “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”–Thomas Jefferson, [Letter to the Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin (1802)]

      As computer security expert and cryptographer Bruce Schneier wrote, on May 18, 2006, in his article entitled, ‘The Eternal Value of Privacy,’

      “Privacy is an inherent human right, and a requirement for maintaining the human condition with dignity and respect. Two proverbs say it best: Quis custodiet custodes ipsos? (“Who watches the watchers?”) and “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Privacy is important because without it, surveillance information will be abused: to peep, to sell to marketers and to spy on political enemies — whoever they happen to be at the time…Privacy protects us from abuses by those in power, even if we’re doing nothing wrong at the time of surveillance.”

      “A future in which privacy would face constant assault was so alien to the framers of the Constitution that it never occurred to them to call out privacy as an explicit right. Privacy was inherent to the nobility of their being and their cause. Of course being watched in your own home was unreasonable. Watching at all was an act so unseemly as to be inconceivable among gentlemen in their day. You watched convicted criminals, not free citizens. You ruled your own home. It’s intrinsic to the concept of liberty.”

      “For if we are observed in all matters, we are constantly under threat of correction, judgment, criticism, even plagiarism of our own uniqueness. We become children, fettered under watchful eyes, constantly fearful that — either now or in the uncertain future — patterns we leave behind will be brought back to implicate us, by whatever authority has now become focused upon our once-private and innocent acts. We lose our individuality, because everything we do is observable and recordable.”

      “How many of us have paused during conversation in the past four-and-a-half years, suddenly aware that we might be eavesdropped on? Probably it was a phone conversation, although maybe it was an e-mail or instant-message exchange or a conversation in a public place. Maybe the topic was terrorism, or politics, or Islam. We stop suddenly, momentarily afraid that our words might be taken out of context, then we laugh at our paranoia and go on. But our demeanor has changed, and our words are subtly altered.”

      “This is the loss of freedom we face when our privacy is taken from us. This is life in former East Germany, or life in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. And it’s our future as we allow an ever-intrusive eye into our personal, private lives.”

      “Too many wrongly characterize the debate as “security versus privacy.” The real choice is liberty versus control. Tyranny, whether it arises under threat of foreign physical attack or under constant domestic authoritative scrutiny, is still tyranny. Liberty requires security without intrusion, security plus privacy. Widespread police surveillance is the very definition of a police state. And that’s why we should champion privacy even when we have nothing to hide.”

      • Someone says:

        You certainly exercised your right not to engage with speech you didn’t agree with by failing to engage with what I meant by “a right not to engage”, and I celebrate you for it.

        While your conspiratorial waffle is inconsequential, Sandy Hook parents live in hiding due to InfoWars. Freedom of speech fundamentalists like Index on Censorship need to engage with this empirical reality, not wish it away.

        • Anonymous 4GoodReason says:

          Touche!—Someone—-Touche!

          One can mince words all they want, but what was said by someone, is still a contradiction.

          I don’t have to keep my mouth shut for anyone and I did not fail to engage in anything, nor would I ever consider the exercising of my right to free speech as a failure by any stretch of the imagination because I believe we are free moral beings and because we have that capacity, it can allows us to say and do some pretty amazing things.

          Bullies often ridicule, deride and demean those whom they see as a threat to their own personal agendas and conceptions. Happens all the time. Especially given the PC culture we live in today, including in the Intelligence community, which is precisely why, several decades ago, the CIA started singling out and labeling those whom stand up and speak out about injustices as conspiracy theorists, because it fits the agenda of those whom are hell bent on quelling the truth, and thus creating a police state so that they can silence the people. That is the very definition of a tyrant.

          Again, this plays right into the hands of the corporate world because they wish to control the masses and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out either. It has been going on for a very long time, and most rightfully concerned, yet law-abiding citizen’s are already aware of this well known fact.

          Those whom seek to expose the truth and speak out about it are almost always, either silenced or smeared. Our sordid human history proves that beyond the shadow of any doubt whatsoever with the many examples of those whom have been slain.

          Self-delusion is no excuse to tread upon the freedoms and rights of other citizen’s. And there’s nothing wrong with respectfully disagreeing with anyone on anything. It is an incontrovertible aspect of our so-called democratic existence. To tear these things down and toss them in the trash—-is akin to destroying what it actually means to be human.

          Parents do not live in hiding due to InfoWars. That is the most ridiculous and unfounded statement I’ve ever heard.

          The fact that corporations and gaming companies are permitted, (in part by the govermental authorities mind you) to create and promote very violent, very bloody and sadistic video games in conjunction with the most disproportionate rating system ever devised——-it is a huge factor being overlooked here(while not the only one), as to what actually contributes heavily to the reasons why our young kids today might pick up a gun and go on a rampage. It happens quite simply because it is so pervasively encouraged and promoted in this world and especially in video games.

          And even though there have been thorough case studies over the years which have concluded a direct correlation between the violence portrayed in movies & video games to how a person might act or react in a situation, after playing such first-person POV games & movies, (and there is very much a connection there), these same corporate thugs, dispatch their own so-called “scientific” goons to claim there is no connection. Thus they propagandize the people to sleep so that they can keep making these detrimental products for consumption.

          And anyone with enough common sense already knows that such reasoning is completely absurd, because the fact that we are a product of our own environment, rings true in almost every other aspect of our lives.

          The sexually-depraved violence and gore and masochistic garbage being produced and promoted by Hollywood alone is staggering and appears in front of us every single day.

          The growing numbers of parents whom inadvertently encourage their children to become bullies at school by the way in which they treat them at home is also a huge factor.

          These are the real important reasons people should be concerned about when we have that national conversation about gun-violence and threats at school. These are the types of issues that most certainly should garner our greater attention and be front & center, because these very same factors are at the root causes of why stuff like that actually happens.

          We as parents in general, most certainly have plenty of room for improvement when it comes to accepting greater responsibility for our own children and for what we do and say in front of them as well as what we allow them to be exposed to, especially when it comes to media violence.

          It’s easy to make pretend like those things are of little importance. The hard part requires that, as grown-ups and parents, we work more diligently to actually stand up for what is right in this regard and for meting proper discipline to our children when it’s warranted.

          There are many disciplines in life and when used properly, some do serve a good purpose.

  2. Max Kennedy says:

    It’s illegal. It’s directly illegal to coordinate it under the Sherman antitrust act, illegal boycotting.
    https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/competition-guidance/guide-antitrust-laws/dealings-competitors/group-boycotts

    FEC law has also been violated, business libel, and the user agreement itself – they are basically stealing everyone’s content – which everyone owns, by fraudulent agreements to give something in turn, then shadow-ban them in secret so they don’t know they’ve been cheated and keep giving. fraud for money reasons.

    They’ve also turned themselves from carriers of information and public forums overnight into publishers – and should have their protections and privileges under the former removed. In addition, they should delete *all* content that has been submitted to them under old terms made in bad faith, as user generated content isn’t free – like they are treated it, every user owns what he wrote on creation. It’s time they pay and played fair – that’s the root problem, not recognizing the posters own anything, nor that they have duty to them – despite it fundamentally being part of the law about who owns the posts, that nothing of value was given for them (user agreements you don’t keep, change on whim, and made in bad faith and cheat at do not count as *value*.

    I’d hit them with illegal boycotting under the sherman anti-trust act, bring most of the rest of this up in hearing and determination of fines, breakups, and repaying users, and try the fec violations separably.

    I’d also have the government retake it’s role as creator and maker of the internet, and simply make a rule if you discriminate as a carrier or public forum, you get kicked off. networks have certain rules for connecting, and this one was originated with the government. I’m tired if hearing “it’s their platform”, it’s our network – if you don’t like it — go build your own FROM THE GROUND UP.

  3. Dave says:

    Why the hell do you use facebook, twitter and google when they’re banning you

  4. Dave says:

    Why isnt donald trump doing anything about this? Surely its in his interest as info wars backs him fully.
    Uunless hes really part of the globalist agenda. Ultimately to kick in force a police state. Theres certainly a lot more demos and riots on the streets since he was elected