Censoring The Alt-Right Is About As Counter-Productive As We Can Get

By Colin Louis | United States

Over the last couple of weeks, new revelations have come forward about Facebook’s use of user data. This, along with bannings on various social media platforms, has raised several questions about social media censorship.

Many supporters of censorship claim that it will prevent giving the Alt-Right a platform on social media. They may sound good in theory, but they don’t work in practice. Extremists still spread extremism online.

There are two ways we can take on this problem of Alt-Right online extremism; we can debate or we can ban. Censorship is not the way to go.

Let’s see who’s not being censored.

Richard Spencer, a White Supremacist and founder of the Alt-Right still has a Twitter and Instagram account.

Matthew Heimbach, a Neo-Nazi and leader of the Traditionalist Workers Party still has a YouTube account that he posts his hateful videos.

Paul Nehlen, a White Nationalist and candidate for Wisconsin’s first congressional district still has an Instagram account.

AltRight.com, the literal website for the Alt-Right is fully functional.

BloodandSoil.org, the website for the white nationalist group ‘Patriot Front’ is actively recruiting members on their website. (“Blood and Soil” was a nazi chant yelled at Charlottesville.)

Nsm88.org, the official website for the National Socialist Movement, the new American Nazi Party is still fully functional. The “88” in the website name is code for “hail Hitler,” (The 8th letter of the alphabet is H. HH is short for “hail Hitler.”)

The point is that censorship by Google, Twitter, and YouTube doesn’t work against the Alt-Right. While it’s unfortunate, regardless of if we shut them up or not hate will continue to spread and we should take a better approach to it. The Alt-Right is an ideology of hate that can only be combated with free speech.

The only solution is to debate them and prove their ideology wrong (just as one would with any other dangerous ideology).

If you want to show the world that Nazism and White Supremacy aren’t the way to go, beat them in debate and prove to the internet they are wrong. Use facts and logic as your sword, not censorship.

Even if you take away their platform racists are still going to be racist.

If you beat them on their platform you will see what little influence they have. Take Richard Spencer’s speech in Florida: almost nobody would have showed up if the Governor hadn’t declared a state of emergency. By taking their platform away they can tell people “they want to censor us because we tell the truth!”

Censoring them makes it look like they are winning. It makes the other side look scared of their arguments. It is the weak thing to do.

So, don’t use censorship to attack the Alt-Right. The Alt-Right is a force of hate and ignorance, but we need to use logic to prove them wrong. Removing a couple of twitter pages won’t do anything, we need to focus our force on destroying their core philosophy.


Featured image source.