I’ll try and
sprinkle citations throughout the summation here – try and analyze the
links and citations as a whole, and not on a link-by-link basis. There
may be a CNN link or two in here – don’t immediately dismiss it. Just
entertain the thought that we’ll get to a specific place in the end and
critical thinking is rooted in logic, not emotion, and casting aside a
hyperlink based on it’s domain make you just as bad as those that
quarantined you here.
To start, CNN
Tech’s Dylan Byers let’s us know here,
with a currently accepted timeline of events:
Cook sends Mark Zuckerberg scrambling
mounting public pressure to address Jones’ hate speech, Tim Cook
and Eddy Cue met and decided that AJ was no longer worth the headaches
they were suffering from. More on that, later.
After Zuck heard the
word, he decided it was now or never and pulled four of AJ’s pages.
This is a few
weeks after Facebook had another row with AJ, suspending him for 30
days over hate speech and bullying. Note the picture they use
to lead that one. Fantastic.
these are the violations cited:
In two of the
Infowars videos in question, Jones asserted Muslims were taking over
control of European countries. Another video, titled “How To Prevent
Liberalism,” depicted a man shoving a young boy to the ground, while
in the fourth video Jones compared the creators of a show featuring
animated drag queens to Satanists.
It came from Jared Holt, a Research Associate for Right
Wing Watch, which is an outfit that is:
monitoring and exposing the activities and rhetoric of right-wing
activists and organizations in order to expose their extreme agenda.
Our researchers monitor dozens of broadcasts, emails and websites, and
use their expertise on right-wing movements to analyze and distill
that information for media, allies and the general public. By shedding
light on the activities of the right-wing movement, we help expose the
risks its extreme and intolerant agenda presents to our country. We do
not endorse the views of groups that we report on.
For The American Way (just read it a few times in your head –
I bet it’s not what you think it is – it was founded by Norman Lear in
the early 1980s in opposition of the Moral Majority. This
link will tell you where they through their money regarding
federal elections (both who they support and who they don’t.
Back to Jared
– he describes his motivation and tacticts in this Salon piece:
weeks, a group of progressive activists has dialed up efforts to
pressure these distribution platforms to drop Infowars. That
pressure, which comes at a time when court proceedings against Jones
have finally begun in earnest, created the momentum that
led to this decision. This has been mentioned in passing in much of
the coverage, but these folks deserve much more credit and recognition
for the work they’ve been doing in trying to fight right-wing
recently with Jared Holt, a researcher from Right Wing Watch, a
project of People for the American Way. Holt’s work has been
instrumental in getting social media and other internet platforms to
give Infowars the boot. This interview has been edited and condensed
follow you on Twitter and noticed that you seemed to be spearheading
the effort to kick Alex Jones off Spotify. Am I right in this
brought attention to the fact that Spotify was hosting Infowars’
programming and tweeted about it. That was amplified by the
progressive group Sleeping Giants, which brought it into the
national attention, from my relatively niche Twitter account. People
were upset and threatened to boycott Spotify. That got the attention
of reporters who asked Spotify about it. Then I also wrote an
article laying out the case for why Infowars clearly violates
Spotify’s own hosting rules.
There’s a lot
to unpack there already.
Wing Watch is a Project of People For The American Way and
describes itself as follows:
Right Wing Watch is a
project of People For the American Way (PFAW) dedicated to monitoring
and exposing the activities and rhetoric of right-wing activists and
organizations in order to expose their extreme agenda. Our
researchers monitor dozens of broadcasts, emails and websites, and
use their expertise on right-wing movements to analyze and distill
that information for media, allies and the general public. By
shedding light on the activities of the right-wing movement, we help
expose the risks its extreme and intolerant agenda presents to our
country. We do not endorse the views of groups that we report on.
It seems he
has a 23 episode podcast of his own that he started in February and has
had some trouble getting it launched on spotify. All 23 episodes seem to
at Right Wing Watch and People for the American Way by tracking
right-wing misinformation sites. Why is it so important to go
after these guys? What danger do they present to the public?
It’s in the
name of Infowars. It’s not an attempt at legitimate reporting.
It’s a, quote, “war” for your mind.
their war for the American mind is to stuff it full of
conspiracy theories. That ultimately debases people from reality and
polarizes them to the extremes of right-wing politics.
Historically, we’ve seen that can be very harmful for the
vision of America as a free and open democracy.
I think it’s
important to realize that people like Alex Jones are using these
platforms in bad faith.
review, we had Jared Holt, who is employed at Right Wing Watch, a
Project of the People For The American Way, a liberal 501c3 who have to
file their taxes publically. But there are other ways of regulating
platforms, as reddit has a way of doing it (I believe I represent that
function here at least half the week), as well as Twitter and Youtube,
which we’ll get to in a bit.
But first I
want to direct your attention to Democracy Matters: A Strategic Plan For
leaked memo from a Democracy Matters retreat in Florida last
In the next
four years, Media Matters will continue it’s core mission of disarming
right-wing misinformation, while leading the fight against the next
generation of conservative disinformation: The proliferation of fake
news and propaganda now threatening the country’s information
ecosystem. Here’s what success will look like:
misinformers and right-wing propagandists inhabiting everything from
social media to the highest levels of government will be exposed,
and social media platforms, like Google and Facebook, will no longer
uncritically and without consequence host and enrich fake news sites
social media fueled harassment campaigns that silence dissent and
poison our national discourse will be punished and halted.
familiar at all? Would Alex Jones have been deplatformed if he stuck to
conspiracy theories and stayed out of political endorsements? Or was
this all a stunt and he’ll come out looking solid on the other side
anyway? And what about other social media companies? We all know how
reddit gins up their algorithms to weigh certain subs over others.
Twitter has their own algorithms, as does Facebook, who also have
moderators (of which they actually pay). But how much of this is
automated? Once you get put on a
list how do you get off? We’ll get to that – and it seems
easy to do if you have enough twitter followers.
On Page 8
(PDF warning) of a white paper that came out of Senator Mark Warner’s
(D-VA) office, titled Potential
Policy Proposals for Regulation of Social Media and Technology Firms states
something that sounds familiar:
platforms liable for state-law torts (defamation, false light, public
disclosure of private facts) for failure to take down deep fake or
other manipulated audio/video content – due to section 230 of the
Communications Decency Act, internet intermediaries like social media
platforms are immunized from state tort or criminal liability.
However, the rise of technology like DeepFakes – sophisticated image
and audio synthesis tools that can generate fake audio or video files
falsely depicting someone saying or doing something – is poised to
usher in an unprecedented wave of false and defamatory content, with
state law-based torts (dignitary torts) potentially offering the only
effective redress to victims. Dignatory torts such as defamation,
invasion of privacy, false light, and public disclosure of private
facts represent key mechanisms for victims to enjoin – and deter –
sharing of this kind of content.
the onus is on victims to exhaustively search for, and report, this
content to platforms who frequently take months to respond and who are
under no obligation thereafter to proactively prevent the same content
from being re-uploaded in the future. Many victims describe a
…thus, a revision of
section 230 could provide the ability of users who have successfully
proved that sharing of particular content by another user constituted
a dignatory tort to give notice of this judgement to a platform; with
this notice, platforms would be held liable in instances where they
did not prevent the content in question from being re-uploaded in the
is an example of a case regarding defamation that might be relevant. Here
how the government can do it. That’s how some strange online army of DNC
watchers can do it. On Youtube, you’re ability to livestream and
connection to the platform can be disconnected and a strike put on your
account just for talking about wrongthink. In
real time Don’t
If you dig a
bit more into this – it seems that your content is being monitored as
you type it (and even as you speak it). Maybe you’re just put in
It’s only a
matter of what kind of list you’re
on and who’s aiming to silence you. Or demonetize you. Or deplatform
you. Or harass you.