Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Alex Jones Himself Endorses Vigilantism Against “Wrongthink”

 

Why deplatform Alex Jones now? It may have something to do with this week’s news that Jones is continuing to make life miserable for ordinary Americans he believes are engaged in “wrongthink”: he believes that their belief that they’re just grieving families, not actors in an elaborate hoax, is a belief too wrong to let alone. Alex Jones — the “sheeple” king — has no problem with harassing others over their “wrongthink” as long as his gang is the gang getting away with it.

Back in April, three parents of Sandy Hook shooting victims began suing Jones for defamation. In turn, this August Jones is seeking over $100,000 in damages from the parents of shooting victim Noah Pozner, adding financial insult to the years of injury they’ve already had to endure at the hands of Jones and his fans:

According to their suit, Jones first alleged in a March 2014 InfoWars broadcast that an interview between De La Rosa and CNN’s Anderson Cooper had been faked and filmed in front of a “blue screen.” Jones has repeated this claim several times since then.

“He was relentless in stating the event was fake and that my family were part of a cover-up,” Pozner said in an affidavit.

Pozner said his family has been forced to move seven times since the shooting to escape “conspiracy fanatics” who have harassed them. One such fanatic, Lucy Richards, pleaded guilty to leaving Pozner death threats. She was ordered by a Florida judge to steer clear of InfoWars content as a condition of her probation.

Houston-based attorney Mark Bankston, representing Pozner and De La Rosa, elicited gasps from the packed gallery during the hearing on the motion to dismiss Wednesday when he told the court that Jones shared in a 2015 broadcast the address and a map to the family’s home, after taking a call from a viewer who threatened the family on air. [emphasis added]

Why deplatform Jones now? Maybe this is why.

***

The Pozners aren’t the only ones who have suffered harassment at the hands of Jones’s fans. Neil Haslin is another Sandy Hook parent suing Jones for defamation. Jones and his fans have also immiserated Marcel Fontaine by falsely identifying Fontaine as the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter:

Fontaine claims InfoWars broadcast his photo to hundreds of millions of people, subjecting him to ridicule and threats from as far away as China.

The good thing about a threat from China, at least, is that the one making the threat is unlikely to show up on your doorstep, much less with a loaded gun. The same cannot be said of the Comet Ping Pong shooter, Edgar Maddison Welch, one of Alex Jones’s listeners who decided to “shine some light on” the Pizzagate conspiracy Jones had propagated by visiting Comet Ping Pong in person, armed.

Jones cannot — and should not — be held legally responsible for all the harassment his fans have inflicted on others. Nor should he be held morally responsible for all of it. But a man who will “broadcast the address and a map to the family’s home, after taking a call from a viewer who threatened the family on air”, leading to years of harassment, is morally responsible for some of it. Jones has demonstrated a pattern of behavior endorsing and abetting the harassment of ordinary Americans for daring to believe they are who they say they are, not who Alex Jones says they are.

***

Facebook’s statement on Jones’s violation of community standards is quite vague. Disturbingly vague, in fact. Any platform, no matter how popular, deserves to be able to refuse to host a man who abets the harassment of private citizens the way Jones evidently has. There should be no shame in Facebook straightforwardly announcing this fact, and there is shame in the fact that they didn’t.

“Come to our platform for the Likes — stay for the chance to have your life ruined by Alex Jones and his fans!” isn’t a reputation any platform should want, and there should be no shame in saying so. Facebook has apparently had a longstanding policy of erring on the side of vagueness when it comes to explaining its moderating decisions. It claims that explaining too much invites hecklers to game the system. As a mod myself, I understand that general explanation. I also understand why people worry the vagueness will be abused.

By all means, let’s worry that the vagueness of Facebook’s community standards leaves them open for abuse. As @drewinwisconsin put it, “Nobody wants to defend Alex Jones. We want to defend ourselves from being the next Alex Jones.” That’s fair enough. But in defending ourselves, it’s reasonable to ask, are we effectively defending Jones’s behavior, too? If we dance around what Jones has really done, I believe we are. He is a man who appears to have no qualms about abusing private citizens who disagree with his personal version of reality. Ordinary Americans are just the “sheeple”, after all: Jones has repeatedly behaved as if they deserve the harassment they get at his fans’ hands.

***

All of us who worry that vigilantism against “wrongthink” will be used to silence us should be aware that Jones himself is one of these vigilantes. That Jones’s own brand of vigilante justice is more anti-PC than PC doesn’t change this fact. Do we fear the heckler’s veto? Jones is himself a heckler, one whose fanbase gives Jones’s heckler’s veto far more power than most of us could dream of having. Jones will survive deplatforming. His voice will not be silenced. The same could not be said for the voices of ordinary Americans who might get on Jones’s bad side.

Maybe Alex Jones really has set up a lose-lose proposition for free speech. On the one hand, deplatforming him does have a chilling effect on the culture of free speech. On the other hand, not deplatforming him also has a chilling effect on the culture of free speech: why should any of us ordinary citizens speak up if doing so risks attracting the kind of vicious harassment Jones evidently has a history of abetting? If we pity the poor, harassed Alex Jones, persecuted for his “wrongthink”, we should extend that same pity to those whom Alex Jones has himself harassed. We should believe it right and proper for platforms to refuse to endorse this kind of kind of harassment, even if we don’t appreciate — indeed, even if we fear — their vague justifications. If we fail to do so, we aren’t merely defending ourselves: we are defending Jones.

There are 363 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. DrewInWisconsin Doesn't C… Coolidge

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: By all means, let’s worry that the vagueness of Facebook’s community standards leaves them open for abuse. As @drewinwisconsin put it, “Nobody wants to defend Alex Jones. We want to defend ourselves from being the next Alex Jones.” That’s fair enough. But in defending ourselves, it’s reasonable to ask, are we effectively defending Jones’s behavior, too?

    It’s reasonable to ask. The answer is no.

    If I say that the Klan has the right to march in Skokie, does that mean I’m defending the Klan’s ideology?

    Of course not.

    • #1
    • August 7, 2018, at 3:15 PM PDT
    • 22 likes
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I wouldn’t worry much about free speech. We won’t have it much longer.

    Candace Owens? Candace Owens?

    • #2
    • August 7, 2018, at 3:17 PM PDT
    • 15 likes
  3. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

     

    There is some serious pushback….

    • #3
    • August 7, 2018, at 3:21 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  4. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: Maybe Alex Jones really has set up a lose-lose proposition for free speech. On the one hand, deplatforming him does have a chilling effect on the culture of free speech.

    You think he’s the end of it? He’s the test case.

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

    Martin Niemoller

    Still applies.

    • #4
    • August 7, 2018, at 3:24 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  5. Ed G. Member
    Ed G. Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    Back in April, three parents of Sandy Hook shooting victims began suing Jones for defamation. In turn, this August Jones is seeking over $100,000 in damages from the parents of shooting victim Noah Pozner, adding financial insult to the years of injury they’ve already had to endure at the hands of Jones and his fans:

    According to their suit, Jones first alleged in a March 2014 InfoWars broadcast that an interview between De La Rosa and CNN’s Anderson Cooper had been faked and filmed in front of a “blue screen.” Jones has repeated this claim several times since then.

    “He was relentless in stating the event was fake and that my family were part of a cover-up,” Pozner said in an affidavit.

    Pozner said his family has been forced to move seven times since the shooting to escape “conspiracy fanatics” who have harassed them. One such fanatic, Lucy Richards, pleaded guilty to leaving Pozner death threats. She was ordered by a Florida judge to steer clear of InfoWars content as a condition of her probation.

    Houston-based attorney Mark Bankston, representing Pozner and De La Rosa, elicited gasps from the packed gallery during the hearing on the motion to dismiss Wednesday when he told the court that Jones shared in a 2015 broadcast the address and a map to the family’s home, after taking a call from a viewer who threatened the family on air. [emphasis added]

    Why deplatform Jones now? Maybe this is why.

     

    Aren’t these just allegations? How do you know it’s true? Shouldn’t there be evidence that Jones actually shared the address of the family’s home during a broadcast? Is there such evidence?

    • #5
    • August 7, 2018, at 3:29 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  6. Hoyacon Member

    DrewInWisconsin(View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: By all means, let’s worry that the vagueness of Facebook’s community standards leaves them open for abuse. As @drewinwisconsin put it, “Nobody wants to defend Alex Jones. We want to defend ourselves from being the next Alex Jones.” That’s fair enough. But in defending ourselves, it’s reasonable to ask, are we effectively defending Jones’s behavior, too?

    It’s reasonable to ask. The answer is no.

    If I say that the Klan has the right to march in Skokie, does that mean I’m defending the Klan’s ideology?

    Of course not.

    Similarly:

    We should believe it right and proper for platforms to refuse to endorse this kind of kind of harassment, even if we don’t appreciate — indeed, even if we fear — their vague explanations. If we fail to do so, we aren’t merely defending ourselves: we are defending Jones.

    No. We defend Jones by defending him, not by a metaphorical construct in which a discussion of speech turns into a defense of a person and his actions.

    • #6
    • August 7, 2018, at 3:45 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  7. JudithannCampbell Inactive

    “I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

    Evelyn Beatrice Hall, often falsely attributed to Voltaire.

    • #7
    • August 7, 2018, at 3:57 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  8. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin(View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    We should believe it right and proper for platforms to refuse to endorse this kind of kind of harassment, even if we don’t appreciate — indeed, even if we fear — their vague explanations. If we fail to do so, we aren’t merely defending ourselves: we are defending Jones.

    No. We defend Jones by defending him, not by a metaphorical construct in which a discussion of speech turns into a defense of a person and his actions.

    I’ve seen several OPs and many, many comments on this matter at this point. The trend among Ricochetians seems to be to overlook Jones’s abusive behavior. That kind of looking the other way is a form of defense.

    We can still be angry at Facebook’s (or other platforms’) vague justification. But for heaven’s sake, if we don’t want to be perceived as defending Jones himself, well, we should avoid actually doing it!

    • #8
    • August 7, 2018, at 4:02 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  9. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    JudithannCampbell (View Comment):

    “I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

    Evelyn Beatrice Hall, often falsely attributed to Voltaire.

    Whereas with Alex Jones it’s more like, “I disagree with you, and I’ll harass you to death on the strength of my right to say it.”

    • #9
    • August 7, 2018, at 4:08 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  10. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    It’s worth adding that, in his divorce suit, Jones’s attorneys have argued that his onscreen persona is all a cynical act.

    While I’m generally pretty tolerant of a guy doing whatever he can to not lose his kids, either Jones is perjuring himself or he’s someone who lies about shooting victims’ families to make a living.

    • #10
    • August 7, 2018, at 4:10 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  11. DrewInWisconsin Doesn't C… Coolidge

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    I’ve seen several OPs and many, many comments on this matter at this point. The trend among Ricochetians seems to be to overlook Jones’s abusive behavior. That kind of looking the other way is a form of defense.

    We can still be angry at Facebook’s (or other platforms’) vague justification. But for heaven’s sake, if we don’t want to be perceived as defending Jones himself, well, we should avoid actually doing it!

    What I see happening more frequently is this kind of construction. If I think we should lower taxes, then I must hate education. If I think we need to reform the EPA, then I must want trash-strewn streets and dirty water. If I disagree with the global warmists, I must want drowned polar bears. If I speak in favor of the second amendment, then I must want dead school children.

    This same kind of thinking says that if I’m in favor of free speech, then I must endorse Alex Jones.

    I do not. And I reject the notion that I have to include my non-endorsement in order to have my views heard.

    It’s like people who always feel it necessary to start their statements about the President with “now, I don’t approve of his Tweeting, but . . .”

    I will not apologize for not having an opinion about Alex Jones. And I will not be forced to preface my statements about free speech by establishing my opinions about Alex Jones. It’s silly, it’s unnecessary, and I won’t do it.

    • #11
    • August 7, 2018, at 4:12 PM PDT
    • 21 likes
  12. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: Maybe Alex Jones really has set up a lose-lose proposition for free speech. On the one hand, deplatforming him does have a chilling effect on the culture of free speech.

    You think he’s the end of it? He’s the test case.

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

    Martin Niemoller

    Still applies.

    Not all slopes are infinitely slippery. Also, Midge is not brushing off all the criticisms of social media; she’s right, I think to find the manner of Jones’s bannings worrying.

    • #12
    • August 7, 2018, at 4:13 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  13. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Alex Jones is a distraction. Facebook rejected the following video as “too shocking.”

    I guess nobody at Facebook ever saw The Killing Fields.

    • #13
    • August 7, 2018, at 4:18 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  14. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    If I say that the Klan has the right to march in Skokie, does that mean I’m defending the Klan’s ideology?

    No, it does not.

    But when someone else doges and weaves whenever you point out the Klan’s awfulness, one might well wonder about them.

    • #14
    • August 7, 2018, at 4:21 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  15. DrewInWisconsin Doesn't C… Coolidge

    Tom Meyer, Common Citizen (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    If I say that the Klan has the right to march in Skokie, does that mean I’m defending the Klan’s ideology?

    No, it does not.

    But when someone else doges and weaves whenever you point out the Klan’s awfulness, one might well wonder about them.

    Are you referring to something/someone specifically?

    Also, I meant the Nazis. I got my bad guys mixed up there a bit.

    • #15
    • August 7, 2018, at 4:24 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  16. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    When BLM published the address of the policeman in Ferguson, we were, properly, outraged. That guy was totally innocent. So Jones does the same thing to someone who is equally innocent. Disgusting no matter who does it. 

    • #16
    • August 7, 2018, at 4:24 PM PDT
    • 19 likes
  17. Ed G. Member
    Ed G. Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Tom Meyer, Common Citizen (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    If I say that the Klan has the right to march in Skokie, does that mean I’m defending the Klan’s ideology?

    No, it does not.

    But when someone else doges and weaves whenever you point out the Klan’s awfulness, one might well wonder about them.

    Well, the Klan’s awfulness is both extensive and proven, including a long list of actual behavior – crimes – spanning decades and thousands of people. 

    • #17
    • August 7, 2018, at 4:24 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  18. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):
    This same kind of thinking says that if I’m in favor of free speech, then I must endorse Alex Jones.

    That’s not what I’m thinking, though. I’m thinking that failing to consider whether there might be good reason to deplatform Jones (a reason more specific than the vague “hate speech”) is a foolish way to defend free speech.

    Would we defend harassment, stalking, or defamation as just expressing an opinion? Those who know what Jones has been up to, and hear us defending Jones on the grounds of “it was just free speech”, without acknowledging what he was really doing, would be within their reason to conclude that yes, yes we do.

    • #18
    • August 7, 2018, at 4:24 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  19. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):
    I will not apologize for not having an opinion about Alex Jones. And I will not be forced to preface my statements about free speech by establishing my opinions about Alex Jones. It’s silly, it’s unnecessary, and I won’t do it.

    I’m not asking you to. Nobody should be forced to preface every statement with some qualification. Nonetheless, Jones strikes me as an emperor who believes he’s well-clad in a garment made of the Constitution when he harasses others. Others may claim Jones is wearing the Constitution, too. But if I look at Jones and see someone buck-naked, I think it’s silly and unnecessary for me not to feel free to say so. Indeed, I think someone should say so. It needn’t be everybody.

    • #19
    • August 7, 2018, at 4:30 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  20. Ed G. Member
    Ed G. Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    When BLM published the address of the policeman in Ferguson, we were, properly, outraged. That guy was totally innocent. So Jones does the same thing to someone who is equally innocent. Disgusting no matter who does it.

    Did he actually do that, though? 

    Also, even BLM, in a broad view of free speech, shouldn’t be prevented from speaking in the public square. If they did something illegal then they should be punished legally. It’s entirely fair to treat their speech with suspicion and even enmity, but I don’t understand the desire to see them silenced. Punishment for actual crimes? Yes! Ability of the rest of us to disregard them? Yes! And unlike an actual public square, organizations like the klan or the nazis can speak (lawfully, that is avoiding incitement or threat) and the rest of us can ignore them without having to speak over them. 

    • #20
    • August 7, 2018, at 4:31 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  21. Ed G. Member
    Ed G. Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    That’s not what I’m thinking, though. I’m thinking that failing to consider whether there might be good reason to deplatform Jones (a reason more specific than the vague “hate speech”) is a foolish way to defend free speech.

    Let’s say he did everything you say. Does that mean he should never have a platform for anything even if it doesn’t approach those actual crimes?

    • #21
    • August 7, 2018, at 4:33 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  22. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    Percival (View Comment):

    Alex Jones is a distraction. Facebook rejected the following video as “too shocking.”

    I guess nobody at Facebook ever saw The Killing Fields.

    Had Facebook censored the ad from being shared or hosted, I’d agree entirely.

    As I understand it, though, they rejected it as a paid ad that Facebook would push to viewers. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for Facebook to not want to actively pushing pictures of communist atrocities in the faces of people who’ve never heard of Elizabeth Heng and just logged in to watch a baby or cat video.

    The video is, currently, hosted on Heng’s campaign’s Facebook page.

    • #22
    • August 7, 2018, at 4:34 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  23. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    Ed G. (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    That’s not what I’m thinking, though. I’m thinking that failing to consider whether there might be good reason to deplatform Jones (a reason more specific than the vague “hate speech”) is a foolish way to defend free speech.

    Let’s say he did everything you say. Does that mean he should never have a platform for anything even if it doesn’t approach those actual crimes?

    Jones’s website and RSS feeds are currently available to anyone who wishes to go there. I believe at least one of the current platforms has only removed a few episodes of content.

    Getting suspended from several major platforms is hardly nothing —again, I agree with Midge and others that the reasons cited for Jones’s banning are frustratingly vague and easy to abuse — but we needn’t exaggerate it.

    EDIT: Jones’s Twitter feed has not been suspended, either.

    • #23
    • August 7, 2018, at 4:39 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  24. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Ed G. (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    When BLM published the address of the policeman in Ferguson, we were, properly, outraged. That guy was totally innocent. So Jones does the same thing to someone who is equally innocent. Disgusting no matter who does it.

    Did he actually do that, though?

    Also, even BLM, in a broad view of free speech, shouldn’t be prevented from speaking in the public square. If they did something illegal then they should be punished legally. It’s entirely fair to treat their speech with suspicion and even enmity, but I don’t understand the desire to see them silenced. Punishment for actual crimes? Yes! Ability of the rest of us to disregard them? Yes! And unlike an actual public square, organizations like the klan or the nazis can speak (lawfully, that is avoiding incitement or threat) and the rest of us can ignore them without having to speak over them.

    That’s a good summary of a civil liberties position, and it’s true that if Alex Jones has rights, so does BLM.

    Let’s resolve that big question: if Jones never gave out the address, his detractors are liars and scum. If Jones did give out the address, but his supporters don’t care, then they’re the liars and scum. Deal? Let’s look into it. 

    They’re going after Mark Steyn for slander/libel (I’m not a lawyer), but we on the right keep defending him as if it were a free speech case, which it’s not. Someone else is going after Jones, for slander/libel–not for free speech–and again, some are treating it as free speech. 

    Slander/libel is not free speech. 

    • #24
    • August 7, 2018, at 4:41 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  25. Hoyacon Member

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin(View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    We should believe it right and proper for platforms to refuse to endorse this kind of kind of harassment, even if we don’t appreciate — indeed, even if we fear — their vague explanations. If we fail to do so, we aren’t merely defending ourselves: we are defending Jones.

    No. We defend Jones by defending him, not by a metaphorical construct in which a discussion of speech turns into a defense of a person and his actions.

    I’ve seen several OPs and many, many comments on this matter at this point. The trend among Ricochetians seems to be to overlook Jones’s abusive behavior. That kind of looking the other way is a form of defense.

    We can still be angry at Facebook’s (or other platforms’) vague justification. But for heaven’s sake, if we don’t want to be perceived as defending Jones himself, well, we should avoid actually doing it!

    You say this, I say that. Fine. But IMO saying that questioning curtailment of Jones’ speech, (much of which has nothing to do with Sandy Hook) is defending Jones himself does not make it so. In fact, from any kind of literal perspective, it’s not. It’s saying, short of advocating violence, I believe in free speech.

    • #25
    • August 7, 2018, at 4:41 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  26. Ekosj Inactive

    Freedom of expression is the matrix, the indispensable condition, of nearly every other form of freedom.”

    —U.S. Supreme Court Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo in Palko v. Connecticut

    The ACLU still says it defends unpopular speech. They still assert that the defense of freedom of speech is most necessary when the message is one most people find repulsive. Freedom of speech must apply to even the most unpopular speech if its going to be preserved for everyone. I’m not sure the ACLU still believes these words, but I still do.

     

     

    • #26
    • August 7, 2018, at 4:47 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  27. Hoyacon Member

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    They’re going after Mark Steyn for slander/libel (I’m not a lawyer), but we on the right keep defending him as if it were a free speech case, which it’s not. Someone else is going after Jones, for slander/libel–not for free speech–and again, some are treating it as free speech.

    Slander/libel is not free speech.

    So are you saying Jones has only been deplatformed as to those portions of his remarks that are allegedly slanderous or libelous?

    • #27
    • August 7, 2018, at 4:49 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  28. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    Ed G. (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    That’s not what I’m thinking, though. I’m thinking that failing to consider whether there might be good reason to deplatform Jones (a reason more specific than the vague “hate speech”) is a foolish way to defend free speech.

    Let’s say he did everything you say. Does that mean he should never have a platform for anything even if it doesn’t approach those actual crimes?

    Are you asking that, if he reformed himself, should he still be denied any sort of platform? If he were really reformed, there wouldn’t be good reason to ostracize him from all the platforms. The platforms on which he’d already burned bridges might not want him back. though. He had his chance on those, and blew it, and they’d be understandably skeptical about his reform even if it were thoroughly genuine.

    • #28
    • August 7, 2018, at 4:54 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  29. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    “Freedom of expression is the matrix, the indispensable condition, of nearly every other form of freedom.”

    —U.S. Supreme Court Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo in Palko v. Connecticut

    The ACLU still says it defends unpopular speech. They still assert that the defense of freedom of speech is most necessary when the message is one most people find repulsive. Freedom of speech must apply to even the most unpopular speech if its going to be preserved for everyone. I’m not sure the ACLU still believes these words, but I still do.

    It’s not about “unpopular speech”. Anyone has the perfect right to buy a billboard and say “Protestant Heresy Leads to Sin”. They will not make themselves popular, and they may have trouble finding a billboard advertising company that would take the account, but it’s legal and constitutionally protected. 

    But if your billboard says “Methodist minister so-and-so is raping women in that evil church basement”, it’s not. It’s pretty obvious why it’s not. 

    • #29
    • August 7, 2018, at 4:54 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  30. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    Tom Meyer, Common Citizen (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    If I say that the Klan has the right to march in Skokie, does that mean I’m defending the Klan’s ideology?

    No, it does not.

    But when someone else doges and weaves whenever you point out the Klan’s awfulness, one might well wonder about them.

    Are you referring to something/someone specifically?

    Yes. I’ve encountered several arguments — on R> and elsewhere — that essentially dismiss Jones as a harmless crank and decline to engage in any discussion as to whether maybe defenestrating Jones was the right call.

    Again, like @midge, I think they basically made the right decision, but handled it poorly. They deserve flak for the latter and some understanding — and, IMHO gratitude — for the former.

    • #30
    • August 7, 2018, at 4:55 PM PDT
    • 3 likes

Comments are closed because this post is more than six months old. Please write a new post if you would like to continue this conversation.