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Big Tech Works in Concert to Ban Hatey Hateful Man

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!

Comic transcript

We're looking at a classic Crimebuster comic today and for the next couple of weeks. Like all of them it has no given title, but it's packed with action! If you would like to know what it's about, just read the angry caption on page one but remember to come back to this page for the latest!

The pretty stewardess explains where the parachutes are. "They're in the back, right there!" she says. "But really, you're foolish to worry! I've been flying three years and I've never had to use one!"

Billy folds his arms. "But if something did happen, you put on a parachute, an' then what?"

The stewardess says "Then you open this little door marked Emergency - jump out - count to ten and pull the ring on the rip-cord, and float down to earth like a bird! Now do you feel any better?"

"Much better" replies Billy, "I'd just like to know those things, in case of trouble! I guess I'm the worryin' type!" He's never been in a plane before and most of the people reading the comic in 1948 are unfamiliar with the procedure of using a parachute, but it couldn't be much mroe complicated than a life jacket, they think.

She leaves, and Billy immediately straps himself into the chute like a pro without making any noise or taking too long. Good thing for Billy that this commercial flight was completely empty so he has the privacy he needs to strap on a parachute. He thinks to himself "I hope she don't come barging in back here before I get my coat back on! She'd think I'm a nut for sure - 'Float down like a bird!' she said, and that's just what I'm gonna do!"

He puts his coat on over the shute and looks normal. He sits back down in the comfy airline chair of 1948. The stewardess comes back in, she says "Hello - you look more relaxed now! We're nearly there! If you look out on this side, you can see the track!"

Far below is the Nashville race track as the twin-propeller plane flies over it. The Stewardess blabbers on "Now we're over the track! We generally pass it long before the third race, but we've got a strong head wind today! We used to fly low, but the motors scared the horses - Hey! You're not even... Hey!"

The plane door is open. The stewardess screams "Don't touch that emergency door! You crazy fool! He... he jumped!" It's possible that they were flying in a non-pressurized plane, apparently you can go up to 15,000 feet in a non-pressurized cabin and not die. The first pressurized plane was built in 1936 and apparently all commercial flights were pressurized by the 1950s, so there's still a chance there. Anyway.

The wind whips around Billy and we catch the tail end of his count. "Nine... ten... Please, pretty chute, open up!" he yells to himself as he pulls the ring.

He's landed safely on the ground, and he's pullin gon the straps of the parachute. "It's three-twenty now!" he says to himself, "I'll have to do some tall steppin'!"

He runs to the track. his tie floating behind him. "Three twenty-five! I've only got five minutes! Why didn't she tell me the wind would carry me a half mile out of my way!" He adds "puff" "puff" as an afterthought to illustrate that he's breathing hard from his run.

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