The Corner

U.S.

‘Don’t Ban Alex Jones’

I’m a slippery slope guy on Alex Jones:

Alex Jones doesn’t represent anything new in this country. We’ve always had our share of paranoid crackpots. Before the age of social media, they relied on publishing underground newsletters and handing out leaflets and the like to get their message out.

What Jones has done is take a cracked worldview that long pre-dated him—lunatic theories about the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderberg group and the Illuminati have been a fringe staple for decades—and shrewdly marketed it using technologies that afford him a reach unimaginable to his daft forbears.

This is a significant downside of the new media environment, which is more open and has fewer guardrails than ever before. But banning Jones, especially in the manner it was done, has significant ramifications for free speech. It signals that social-media companies are going down a path that won’t stop at shutting down a figure everyone can agree is bonkers and despicable.

 

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

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