The field of journalism is not easy. They are poorly paid and, most of the time, have to be out of their comfort zone. Journalists are often rejected and always pressured by deadlines that they may barely meet. On top of that, they are hated, and that hatred is escalating.
Times change but our rights do not. This sentiment, repeated mostly by conservatives and libertarians, aims to show that no matter what changes in our society, our rights should always stay the same. This is a good mindset for any freedom loving individual. But what happens when society changes so much that the way we enforce these rights change? No, we aren’t talking about guns. We are talking about the mother of all rights, freedom of speech. More specifically, we are talking about how it is threatened on social media.
Facebook announced the banning of multiple conservative media personalities and Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan from the platform. Conservatives banned include Paul Joseph Watson, Laura Loomer, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Alex Jones. Alex Jones, who has previously been banned, had his personal Facebook account and Instagram account barred from the sites. A Facebook spokesman who spoke to CNN said that it will remove any user, groups, or organizations who attempt to represent the banned individuals. This will essentially erase their existence from the site. Facebook cited the individuals banning being due to their “dangerous” rhetoric.
By Francis Folz | United States
In a seemingly unprecedented move by Twitter, the social media giant has permanently disabled Alex Jones’ personal account. They also terminated the account of his media company, ‘Infowars’. Twitter claims they removed Jones and Infowars over “Tweets and videos… that violate our abusive behavior policy”
Today, we permanently suspended @realalexjones and @infowars from Twitter and Periscope. We took this action based on new reports of Tweets and videos posted yesterday that violate our abusive behavior policy, in addition to the accounts’ past violations. https://t.co/gckzUAV8GL
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) September 6, 2018
They did not specify which tweet(s) prompted such actions. However the tech firm did state that prior violations played a factor in the company’s ultimate decision. This ban also applies to Twitter’s video platform “Periscope”.
Jones is not the only media figure that Twitter has removed. Recently, in fact, they terminated and suspended the accounts of far more moderate figures. This includes, but is not limited to, Scott Horton and the Ron Paul Institute.
According to CBS, a video cited pertaining to Alex’s ban displays Jones accosting CNN reporter Oliver Darcy during the congressional hearings that occurred on Capital Hill only one day prior. Many also speculated Jones’ heated discussion with Senator Marco Rubio could have prompted Twitter’s actions.
This is not the first time Jones has appeared in the crosshairs of Silicon Valley. Last month, YouTube (owned by Google), Apple, and Facebook removed their content from Jones and Infowars. They too indicated a violation of their user policies for rationale behind the decision.
Twitter’s actions come on the heels of their CEO Jack Dorsey testifying before Congress on September 5th in regards to right-leaning censorship on their platform. Dorsey assured Congress that Twitter does not attempt to censor voices that express a conservative or non-mainstream opinion. Despite this, many feel that the decision to block Jones expresses a different reality.
After all, several tweets have indicated an openness towards harm against our current president. These, though, all fell short of Twitter’s abusive behavior policy standards.
Or die. Die today also be good. Die be very very good. https://t.co/Pykwj9eJmD
— Melania On The Run (@MelaniaTrumpe) August 29, 2018
Unfortunately, actions and inactions like these only validate Jones’ conspiracies, whether Twitter, Facebook, and Google recognize it or not. Jones, who has critiqued the media frequently, may be quick to point out his belief in a double standard. If so, he will continue to fan the flames of anti-media thought among some Americans. As Twitter claims to be unbiased, though, it appears the censorship debate is just commencing.
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By Ian Brzeski | United States
Around the world, horrendous atrocities keep happening and people keep turning a blind eye. We focus on the little problems rather than the larger grand scheme of things.
Life in the Unites States is not as bad as it could be. Our problems are far less problematic than those throughout the world. The average low-income American is far better off than King Louis XIV and John Rockefeller ever were. Humanity has progressed tremendously in recent times, yet we still have the audacity to complain about every little thing. We complain about problems that don’t even carry weight compared to other problems such as how:
- There is a lack of diversity amongst many “top” companies
- Our president is a “racist, xenophobic, misogynist pig”
- Social media companies should be censoring Alex Jones and other conservatives
- plastic straws should be banned (despite how only 1% of plastic pollution in the world comes from the United States and only a fraction of that comes from straws)
For God’s sake, there are more pressing concerns than the ones I just listed. People around the globe are dying at the hands of the United States government. Just the other day a Saudi led airstrike, backed by the United States, killed dozens of Yemeni children on a school bus. The airstrike killed kids on their way to school without any warning. This is utterly detestable. Where is the outrage?
People are quick to work themselves up if Trump says something controversial. But how come when the United States backed Saudi government bombs innocent civilians and children in Yemen you barely hear about it? Don’t even say that the death of these children is a result of collateral damage. We should never consider human lives as collateral damage. I’m not saying that the concerns I listed aren’t problematic, but when comparing the problem of the murder of innocent children to the to the “problem” of income inequality in the workforce it’s clear which one should take preference over the other.
When I turn on the news all that anybody can talk about is Donald Trump. It’s either how Trump is awful because of racism or the greatest because our economy is booming. Nobody ever talks about how he’s currently the head of a government that is supporting Saudi Arabia who is practically committing a genocide against Yemen. The United States along with the U.K. is in a coalition with Saudi Arabia which provides them with weapons, fuel, and other forms of support so they can continue to terrorize Yemen.
This is sickening and nobody is doing anything about it. People would rather smear Trump for racist or sexist comments. Give me a break. How is getting Trump impeached for being subjectively a bad person and for kissing up to Putin more important than the human rights violations happening in Yemen? How is any of that more important than the thousands upon thousands of bombs we drop in the Middle East per year, killing loads of innocent lives? I’m sick of people disliking Trump for all of the wrong reasons.
The strategy of “bombing the shit” out of countries is not unique to Trump and it dates back to Harry Truman who is mainly remembered for dropping atomic bombs on Japan, injuring and killing hundreds of thousands of people. Republicans and Democrats have consistently been dropping bombs in other countries since World War II and people aren’t realizing that it happens under both parties. Obama dropped 26,171 bombs in 2016 and has bombed the most countries since World War II. Trump has also been dropping bombs at unprecedented levels. Having a booming economy is never an excuse for these mass murders ever taking place. All of this is absolutely monstrous and it doesn’t seem that people care at all. We keep electing these mass murderers.
People need to wake up and realize that the mainstream politicians simply don’t care. All the recent presidents have been puppets to the establishment and the track record shows. If people were half as outraged with the establishment and their wrongdoings as they are with their other minuscule problems, maybe we can stop these massacres from taking place.
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