Alex Jones vs. The Internet

Austin McCartney, Staff Writer

    The ongoing battle between Alex Jones and many internet sites is turning a lot of heads throughout America. The conspiracy theorist who also hosts his own news show, InfoWars, has been blocked from various media sites such as Facebook and YouTube. The explanation for removing Jones’ content was simply put by Facebook that “he violated community standards and policies.” These actions took place on Aug 6, but there are still debates going on weeks later.

   This is not the first time Alex Jones has been in trouble with the media. He is notorious for bizarre and outlandish theories that offend many, and has been suspended from Facebook in the past. In one episode of his news show, he called Hillary Clinton a demon. In another, he accused the government of making “gay bombs” and trying to use them on citizens. These theories and accusations made Americans and other media sources uneasy, but the final straw was on a more recent episode of InfoWars. During one of Jones’ typical rants, he went on to say that the Sandy Hook elementary mass shooting never actually happened. He questioned the shooting to be a hoax by the government. After that comment, victims of the Sandy Hook incident tried to file a lawsuit against him, and a few days later his content was removed. Jones tried to appeal and dismiss the lawsuit against him, but he was denied.

   Since Jones agreed to the terms and conditions that every media site requires, his content can be legally removed at any moment for any reason. However, many feel that he is entitled to his first amendment right of free speech. Even locally, opinions on this situation are different. While many feel that Alex Jones deserved to be banned, others disagree.

    “Anyone should have the right to say whatever they want, no matter how ridiculous it is,” said Grand Ledge High School senior Ethan Bensinger.

   This forces people to ask the question; does Alex Jones truly have the right to have his videos on platforms like Youtube, Facebook, and Apple? Since all of these sites are individually founded and not owned by the government, as stated before, websites clearly have the right to ban content of any kind. However, the government themselves do not have the right to ban Alex Jones from the internet or punish him for bringing up his opinions, since it is stated that way in the constitution(Amendment 1). Yes, even hate speech is allowed in the United States. Although that is true, defamation is not. Defamation is giving false information about someone that could potentially harm them. It can get content removed by federal authorities, and it may also be what this case is dealing with. Whether or not Alex Jones will be charged with defamation has not yet been determined, but what has been determined is that he is in a lot of trouble, and that the Alex Jones movement could be on its last legs.


Illustration by Josh Blatt/The Comets’ Tale