Alex Jones. You may love him, you may hate him, but one thing you cannot do is ignore him. For years, more than I can count, Alex has been spreading conspiracy theories, anything from chem-trails, to fluoride tainted water, to 9/11 and Sandy-hook conspiracies. Put on your tinfoil hat and let’s go for a ride. Alex will be there for you.
A few days ago, Alex’s site “Infowars” was smacked with a series of bans across facebook, iTunes, Instagram, and other sites. The interesting point is that he has been claiming that this would happen for quite some time, and now it has happened, effectively trying to put out a fire with gasoline.
Now, it it worth saying, I am no fan of Mr. Jones. I find him to be a source of entertainment, because I think he is crazy, and likely needs some help. That being said, he now has the ammunition to say “see, I was right, and here’s the proof!”
Where cognitive dissonance come into the equation is that republicans and libertarians have been arguing against net neutrality on the concept that the free market can sort out these problems. Publicly traded companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple have done the one thing that we have been arguing for, they are using their right as a free enterprise to decide what goes on their networks, and suddenly, folks have a problem with it…
I do not know what the solution will be. At the end of the day, Alex is the “crazy man on the street corner with a megaphone” and he will continue to be the same…
So, how do we handle this? More internet regulation? No, that cannot work. Do we ignore the problem? No, I don’t think we can… I don’t have the solution to this problem, but we cannot, and should-not , pretend that we don’t have one. Freedom of speech is a generally accepted absolute, and that means that we take the good with the bad, the light with the dark, and the crazy with the sane. The responsibility falls on the rest of us to separate fact from fiction, fear from truth, and ideology from belief. It won’t be easy, because it cannot be. There are no winning moves in this game.
So, to Mr. Jones, I say to you the following: “You have garnered the support of *some* the public for now, but be very wary of how you use it, for the public can be fickle and cruel, and you do not want to be on the receiving end of that wrath… Best of luck good sir.