Photo by: Jay Janner
In this Wednesday, April 19, 2017, file photo, Alex Jones, a right-wing radio host and conspiracy theorist, arrives for a child custody trial at the Heman Marion Sweatt Travis County Courthouse in Austin, Texas. (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP, File)
Alex Jones of Infowars has been booted from YouTube, Apple, Spotify and Facebook for what the tech giants consider his rampant hate speech.
And with that, Jones has become the face of the censorship fight.
He’s well on his way to becoming a martyr — meaning, many of those who don’t even like his content or appreciate his style are gearing up, nevertheless, to defend his right to speak on these social media stations.
This seems counterproductive to those who would silence him, yes? Google “Jones” and what appears is a page filled with Alex Jones news. It’s not just free advertising for Infowars; it’s turning Jones himself into the cause celebre of the conservatives’ censorship fight.
And nobody knows it better than Jones. Check out his Twitter account. It’s filled with posts that draw attention to his plight — followed by handy-dandy links to his show.
Good for him. That’s not just the capitalistic way. It’s the classic way of getting back at one’s enemies. Rather than going away, Jones is growing larger.
He wrote: “We’ve been banned completely on Facebook, Apple, & Spotify. What conservative news outlet will be next?
The one platform that they CAN’T ban and will ALWAYS have [as] live streams is infowars.com/show. Spreak the links to help #Infowars fight #Censorship.”
His feed is filled with similarly-angled messages of angst followed by self-promotion. Truly, Jones has been gifted a goldmine of effective marketing.
“Censoring Alex Jones Is Really About Censoring You!” he tweeted. That post was retweeted 1,500 or so times.
“Understand this,” he tweeted. “The censorship of Infowars just vindicates everything we’ve been saying. Now, who will stand against Tyranny and who will stand for free speech? We’re all Alex Jones now.” That post was retweeted 9,100 or so times.
And his pinned tweet?
“World Exclusive: Alex Jones Responds to Being Banned on the Internet,” he wrote. “Tune in M-F 11am-3pm central at: inforwars.com/show.”
It’s been retweeted 2,600 or so times and loved 4,200 times. More than 2,300 have responded to it directly with tweeted messages of their own.
You just can’t buy advertising like that.
No doubt the tech giants and social media executives meant to silence Jones and make him go away. But what they’ve done instead is made him even more noticeable, more influential, more pertinent in today’s news cycles.
They’ve pretty much made him a martyr of the free speech movement.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley.