STREISAND EFFECT: Censoring Alex Jones merely increases visibility, legitimacy
A system which lacks legitimacy only builds the legitimacy of those it censors
I know this might be a bit belated, but it’s better to say it late than never. Just want to share a few thoughts on Alex Jones and the ban of InfoWars by Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
If we talk about Alex Jones in particular, he seemed to suffer from a syndrome that is not uncommon among journalists and publicists who seek publicity through sensationalism. At first, you’re an honest, hard working professional, but then you notice that your ratings go up when you cover controversial subjects in a controversial manner. So you begin to stir things up, make bizarre statements on purpose, go into over-sensational conspiracy theories, produce over-exaggerated rants, make stunts. People begin to talk about you, you gain more attention, so you feel the need to intensify your eccentricity even further. So you do crazier and crazier things on air, until you find yourself being a hostage of your own play. Being crazy becomes a norm for you, with your work now completely detached from anything sensible. You actually become a crazy, sensationalist clown.
That’s what Alex Jones appears to be suffering from.
Now, do I support censoring him? Hell no!
I might be a bit idealistic here, but I do believe that the best way to deal with something that you don’t like is to simply ignore it (unless they breach the law or purposefully appeal to children and/or psychologically vulnerable people who can’t make independent decisions). If they don’t do anything unlawful (Alex Jones hasn’t done anything criminal, as far as I know – am I wrong?), just deprive them of attention, or use them as an example of how bizarre your ideological/informational opponents are.
If you censor them, however, that could imply that: 1) you are having trouble arguing against them, as you lack facts, polemic skills or other intellectual resources to debunk them (maybe because your position isn’t really based on any of those?), 2) you do take them seriously enough to think that what they say can seriously harm you or your agenda, 3) you just generally prefer to rely on censorship and suppression as opposed to civilised arguments.
The fact that there’s now an inter-corporate solidarity (solidarity between large corporations that, pretty much, control the informational environment) to censor people and organisations is disturbingly dystopian.
A few speculations on why it might have happened. We know that Steve Bannon (the former Trump’s campaign manager) was trying to utilise the alternative media to gain support for Trump as a candidates against the ruling establishment back in 2016. Many speculate that resources like InfoWars, Breitbart, and alternative media figures like Paul Joseph Watson and Lauren Southern were played/utilised to get conservative viewpoints out there to encourage more people to vote for Trump. When Trump became the president, there were even talks about giving accreditation to InfoWars staff to be present at the White House meetings and the State Department press-briefings (I don’t know how it all ended, though). So, given that most of the conventional mainstream media, as well as large IT-corporations, are heavily influenced by the financial sector (those Trans-Atlantic power groups who were behind Obama and Hillary), attacking alternative media outlets who are thought to have connections with the Trump administration seems rather logical. So it could really be just competing power groups in Washington D. C. fighting each other over media landscape dominance, with Alex Jones being the latest victim as he is seen as a pro-Trump asset.
Just a speculation, though.
Either way, censoring Alex Jones is a shameful act that should be condemned.
P. S. “Alex Jones” queries have skyrocketed in Google Trends since he got censored.
P. P. S. I would still give preference to InfoWars materials over the toxic shitpiss produced by the likes of CNN any day.