I am pretty sure by now it’s not news to anyone that Alex Jones has been banned from virtually all social media platforms that where once a
cornerstone of his business. He was banned for breaching the terms and conditions of those platforms, notably by inciting violence. I personally have
been quite torn on how I feel about this, on the one had he broke their terms and conditions in the view of those organisations and as such they are
right to ban him. It is their house, their rules, they can ban him or anyone else if they want for any reason. Yet I cannot help but feel that this
opens up a question that has to be asked about the role of social media and our freedom of speech.
The issue really is this, in our modern world, we are fully interconnected and hugely reliant on big business to exercise our basic right to freedom
of speech in ways never before seen. Sure, nobody is actually stopping anyone from physically saying something or locking them up for saying something
which they disagree with however social media have immense power over our freedom of speech.
It’s a bit of a double-edged sword, while social media has made it easier than ever to express one’s self to the masses and get the message heard
instantly it has also rendered us reliant on their platforms to get that message heard. I think what has happened with Alex Jones demonstrates that
they can, if they want, at will, just shut someone up for no other reason than disagreeing with that person’s views. To me this demonstrates a
In exchange for the benefits that social media platforms offer we have traded in our freedom of speech.
Now sure, I can still go onto twitter and post whatever rubbish I want, I can post whatever I like on Facebook or post cat pics on Instagram all while
vlogging about my most recent holiday on YouTube but in our modern world that also makes me depended on these services. They can theoretically
whenever they want just ban me and instantaneously my freedom of speech and expression has become massively restricted in comparison to another
individuals who is not banned form social media. They have power of my freedom of speech so then how free is it really, how free is freedom of speech
when a corporation can stanch it away.
Honestly, I am not sure where I fall down on this argument, yes, at times social media platforms needs to have the ability to ban individuals who
misuse their service or use it for criminal purposes. Yet at the sometime there is also the worrying truth that these organisations have the power to
supress the freedom of speech of just about anyone with zero external oversight or regulation on this matter.
For me it’s just an interesting question that the recent banning of Alex Jones raises, as much as I disagree with everything the man has to say, it
does raise the question about the ability of social media to supress freedom of speech.
edit on 13-9-2018 by OtherSideOfTheCoin because: (no reason given)