Top technology companies erased most of the posts and videos on their services from Alex Jones, the internet’s notorious conspiracy theorist, thrusting themselves into a fraught debate over their role in regulating what can be said online.
Apple, Google, Facebook and Spotify severely restricted the reach of Mr. Jones and Infowars, his right-wing site that has been a leading peddler of false information online. Mr. Jones and Infowars have used social media for years to spread dark and bizarre theories, such as that the Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax and that Democrats run a global child-sex ring. Apple made its move on Sunday and the others followed on Monday.
The actions, one of the tech companies’ most aggressive efforts against misinformation, highlighted a difficult dilemma for their businesses. They have long desired to combat misinformation online, but they have also been reluctant to be arbiters of truth.
And cue the loud moaning of the conservatives about this being a violation of free speech. It’s not of course, as this is simply tech giants enforcing (belatedly) their own terms of service.
Alex is taking it badly….
Alex Jones reacting to Facebook's decision to remove pages run by him and YouTube's decision to terminate his account pic.twitter.com/wN7kJQjbpd— Edward Hardy (@EdwardTHardy) August 6, 2018
But the hysteria is hype.
BREAKING NEWS: Alex Jones is still absolutely free to speak loads and loads of bullshit. He has not been arrested. He is still broadcasting on his website. His free speech has not been violated.— Shaun King (@shaunking) August 7, 2018
He repeatedly violated the terms of services of private corporations. That's all.