The Court of Public Opinion has bitten many high-tech industries really hard in the United States, with great companies like Apple, Facebook and Google taking upon themselves the mantle of “for your own good” censorship and curtailing of free speech.
In the Duran’s piece about the way liberals are relieving the American people of the burden of liberty, we noted that Alex Jones and his postings and material had been removed from Facebook and Apple news sources, citing “hate speech” as the cause. However, Twitter did not jump on the “purge Alex Jones” bandwagon:
We didn’t suspend Alex Jones or Infowars yesterday. We know that’s hard for many but the reason is simple: he hasn’t violated our rules. We’ll enforce if he does. And we’ll continue to promote a healthy conversational environment by ensuring tweets aren’t artificially amplified.
— jack (@jack) August 8, 2018
The pattern of late has been that Big Company America tends to move on social issues in much the same manner as the legendary movement of lemmings, all running over the cliffs together to their deaths. In the same manner, Corporate America sees socially “unacceptable” speech as a danger to business if “action is not taken”, and so usually these companies react as a bloc.
The Constitution guarantees the liberty of being able to say what one wishes to say. While a private company may sanction anyone’s free speech rights within the boundaries of that company or its services, it does so for its own reasons, and not to preserve or attack free speech rights.
Liberals know this, and they know that although the law of the land correctly has nothing to say about limiting free speech, they also know how to get their way by other means. That means has been to threaten and use social media outlets to narrow the scope of conversation in the USA. Since a vast number of Americans are plugged into the social Web, the liberal elite has tailored its strategy to act with great freedom in curtailing free speech, mostly in legal ways.
Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, was clearly feeling the pressure, as noted in his tweet with, “We know that’s hard for many…” statement. But here he HAS done something that the other Big CEO’s have not been doing, which is that he is pragmatic in regards to Mr. Jones and his rhetoric. Alex Jones is noteworthy for being very bold with his assertions about things like the Sandy Hook shooting being a government hoax and other very novel ideas, but he is also unapologetic in his support for Christianity and Christian values.
This of course is like waving a red flag in front of a bull for the secular social activists who have largely succeeded in taking over mass media in the United States. Indeed, Vox, a very liberal news site, was very critical of Mr. Dorsey’s decision:
In addition to Dorsey’s thread, Twitter’s Safety team issued its own lengthy statement attempting to clarify the site’s content policies and how they do or do not apply with regard to Jones. Most significant was its assertion that Twitter cannot be “the arbiter of truth” around what is and isn’t false information.
That is all a lot to unpack, and it touches on many aspects of the cultural conversation that has centered on social media, and Twitter specifically, over the past two years — including the proliferation of fake news, Twitter’s lackluster attempts to “ban the Nazis,” and the question of whether sites like Twitter and Facebook are publishers who are ethically responsible for the content they serve readers.But above all, Dorsey’s and Twitter’s statements seem to be a striking reversal of the site’s previous progress. The company’s approach to disruptive elements and abusive users ranging from run-of-the-mill trolls to well-established hate groups has always been haphazard and inconsistent at best. But until now, the company has at least presented itself as generally committed to fighting the good fight in quashing those elements on the site.
What’s most jarring — and disturbing — about Dorsey’s statement is its latent suggestion that all of Twitter’s progress has been a mistake. Instead, it seems to insist that the better approach should be a hands-off one, which pretends the major issues the website faces in 2018 are not inherently and irreparably politicized.
In essence, Twitter is choosing to treat the question of whether Alex Jones’s presence on the site is harmful as an issue of semantics rather than an issue of morality.
And here again we come to the crux of the liberal “argument” about civility: morality.
The problem here is that the liberal notion of morality is not fixed, nor is it objective to those who claim it. For the secular humanist, morality is really “the decision of the court of public opinion”, and as such, is not trustworthy, because it is so highly malleable. In what appears to amount to a rare bit of insight, Mr. Dorsey acknowledges this personally:
If we succumb and simply react to outside pressure, rather than straightforward principles we enforce (and evolve) impartially regardless of political viewpoints, we become a service that’s constructed by our personal views that can swing in any direction. That’s not us.
— jack (@jack) August 8, 2018
This very true statement that Jack made is being vilified by the progressive media. Vox, SFgate, the Verge, and many other outlets are on record today, simply letting Twitter have it with both barrels because they refuse to move with the pack of corporate Thought Police.
But the fact remains that Mr. Dorsey is the one who is correct on this one. Free speech means we can say whatever we like. It is a constitutionally protected liberty that we have, that we CAN offend others by what we say. And as Rush Limbaugh commented on Wednesday, those people have the constitutionally protected liberty to turn us off if they do not like it:
It’s not tricky! There’s nothing… This is one of the most easy-to-understand things in all of the Constitution! But did you hear? “I don’t… I don’t think that it’s fair for people to use the First Amendment as kind of like, you know, an excuse to say whatever they want. Like, you know, I don’t have the right to hurt people.” (chuckles) But you do! You have the right to offend them. You see, the thing is, nobody has to listen to you. Do you know how many people confuse that with the First Amendment?
They think the right to free speech means that people have to listen to you, and they don’t! You have to earn that! “I think, like, the lines are strong when you go and get offensive, trying to end people’s, like, culture.” What the hell! You know what that come from. That comes direct from the multicultural curricula that this student has been subjected to probably since middle school. What in the world does the First Amendment, freedom of speech have to do with culture?
“Well, I think, like, the lines are strong when you get offensive, you know, trying to end like people’s, like, culture.” Who’s ending people’s culture? Except ours! Our culture is what’s under assault, and this babe’s not even in favor of free speech to defend it.
About one month ago, Mr. Dorsey found himself on the receiving end of political acceptability flak when he posted about eating at Chik-fil-A. That time he buckled under the social media pressure.
It is not clear if he is changing anything about this or not, but it is clear that, at least for the moment, he is standing with a very unpopular – but correct – point of view.