Too many Progressives rejoiced when most social media companies banned Alex Jones, the crazy Right Wing conspiracy theory promoting uncivil human being. When one examines the act by these companies through analytical lenses, that ouster is dangerous for the Left and Progressives. Why? Eleanor Goldfield explains.
Act Out! Eleanor Goldfield on Alex Jones
Watch the full episode here.
Act Out! Eleanor Goldfield makes some very important points that detail why Progressives should not rejoice over Alex Jones' ouster from social media. She quoted the Black Agenda Report's Margaret Kimberly's piece titled "Freedom Rider: Social Media's Danger to the Black Left" where she wrote,
They are coming after us and they will use many ruses to do it. Right wing pundit Alex Jones was recently kicked off of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for violations of terms of service. There is nothing new about Jones antics. He has been violating those terms for years without consequence. The sudden concern for what he has done for years is highly suspect. Some observers believe that he is in fact a United States intelligence asset.
“Old fashioned address books gathering dust need to be resurrected.”
There is no reason for anyone on the left to cheer Jones being censored. The move against him will be used to defend further censoring of left wing voices. There will always be Alex Jones like characters on social media. His absence helps no one except the intelligence apparatus who will find new ways to use our words and activities against us.
We are living in an era when every person on the planet is under surveillance, regardless of their ideology or political activity.
Goldfield also pointed out if the social media platforms were being true to policy, the President would be banned from the platforms as well. After all, the President threatened war with nuclear weapons on Twitter.
"But as Kimberly noted, this isn't about Jones," Eleanor Goldfield continued. "This is about coordinated state and corporate sponsored censorship of dissenting voices, fascism. Because while these platforms are private companies, they are private companies with deep deep connections to the state."
She went on to call the congresspeople who interviewed Mark Zuckerberg, his employees. Why? He donated $60,000+ to the congressional members previous to his testimony.
Goldfield went on to echo something most of us in the Progressive space who are critical of our economic system and corporatocracy are experiencing, the down-throttling of our posts on social media which limits our reach. She reminded us that TeleSur was shut down by Facebook on false premises.
"The censorship of our voices is already in full swing," Goldfield said. "And to thinks that the recent all-out ban on Alex Jones is where this would end is dangerously naive. We see where this is going. And we need to address this not only in outward ways like this but also with each other in order to find alternatives."
Goldfield said there is talk among many activists to go back to the old days of emails, face to face meetups, newsletters, phone calls, and other methods not controlled by the mega-corporations. She said that while we should incorporate those methods, we cannot turn back the time to the pre-internet days nor should we have to. do so.
"The internet is a tool of the people," Goldfield said. "And if we work smart and work together, we can ensure that it stays that way." She then pointed out things like municipal broadband that decouples our access to the internet from the lines of big companies like Verizon and others. The other option is decoupling our social media from the big companies like Facebook and instead create and use decentralized platforms that are more democratic.
"Take these bans as warning bells," Goldfield said. "And let's get to work finding better and safer more open ways of connecting on the internet."
Well said and something we better ponder. Our Progressive message is a threat to the corporatocracy, the plutocracy. They are beginning to act out.
Visit Eleanor Goldfeld's Activist Progressive reporting at Act Out!