This week, crackpot Alex Jones was de-platformed across Facebook, Apple, and Spotify. His nutty content had been the same for ten years or thereabouts but it was only this week that three large companies decided that the common man was just too stupid to listen to this man's ideas. Who knows what the common man would have done if he'd heard one more conspiracy theory, or if he heard a famous person supporting donald Trump? No, sir, the big tech companies talked to each other and decided they'd fix all that by denying him a spot on their websites.
And I hear some people say "Well, they're private companies, they can do whatever they want to do. It's their web site, it's their property, and they're not the government. They can ban people. If Alex Jones doesn't like it, he can just build his own video sharing network."
Which is true. There's a slight quibble, that these companies have protections from liability as public forums. For example, if someone on Spotify's website threatens someone else, their position as a public forum guarantees that Spotify is not liable for their actions. So, really, there was no reason to ban Mr. Jones (other than to demonstrate their power and encourage the others).
But the important thing is that the strong will do what they like, and the weak will suffer what they must. It's not like these companies are going to say "Hey, that's a good point, we are a public forum so let's act like one. Let's un-ban Alex Jones and let's allow right-wingers to monetize their YouTube content again." They're never going to say that.
I dunno. I guess ISPs are next. Tthe social justice warriors and the anti-racists will gang up on Alex Jones' ISP and say that he promotes hate, why are you allowing him to promote hate? The ISPs will shut down the Alex Joneses of the world and the world will finally, at last, be free of hate.
Then again, I know sites like the Pirate Bay have been able to skip around to different countries to keep promoting their hate. They put up sites like pirates-forum.org for people to go to when the site is down and tell them why the site is down, e.g. whether it was a server crash or the government raided them.
Technology does allow these work-arounds, at least for the moment. A chunk of the non-tech savvy audience will be lost when governments ban hate and a site has to re-host its content in a different country, but that will become part of the game.
Also, Google hasn't gotten into banning people yet. The world's most popular search engine could remove the Alex Joneses of the world from their results. Then people could go to ... I dunno, DuckDuckGo or Cuil or something.
I will say, I kind of like the idea of an internet bill of rights, like, stating that a person may not be banned from a public forum website (unless, you know, threats or whatever).
Anyway, thanks for visiting! Let's see what happens to Billy the Gambler!