An all-out battle is raging against alternative views in the country that has positioned itself as the champion of the freedom of speech despite the fact that 90% of its media are controlled by just 6 companies. For comparison, in 1983, 90% of US media were controlled by 50 companies. Naturally, the trend negatively affects press freedom. According to the 2018 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders or RSF, the US dropped two positions compared to 2017, sliding to No. 45 overall. The role of competition has diminished while bias has become a norm. According to the 2017 Gallup/Knight Foundation Survey on Trust, Media and Democracy report, only 44 percent Americans say they can identify a news source that they believe reports the news objectively.
There have been many examples of freedom of speech trampled on in the United States. True, the First Amendment bars Congress from "abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…" but it says nothing about big high-tech companies or social networks banning political commentators out of favor with the “establishment”. And that’s what they did.
Major tech giants – Facebook, Apple, Google, YouTube, Pinterest, iTunes, LinkedIn, Podcast add, MailChimp, YouPorn, and Spotify – have banned Alex Jones, a well-known journalist, and his website InfoWars - from their services for spreading around “wrong stories”, which the platforms’ owners found “hateful”. The move is unprecedented, it’s a real bombshell. It should be noted that it was President Donald Trump who praised Mr. Jones for his "amazing" reputation.
The privately owned companies with their own rules and regulations teamed up against Mr. Jones and did it simultaneously to leave no doubt the ban is nothing else but collusion. The giants are engaged in political censorship, using their market dominance to target dissenters. Alex Jones is the same investigative journalist he has been for many years. What makes them crack down on him now? Probably, they had their fill as he had irritated them disproportionately.
Mr. Jones defended the integrity of Russia’s presidential elections, claiming that President Putin cannot be a dictator because he won 76 percent of the vote. He brilliantly exposed the absurdity of accusations against Russia blamed for meddling in US elections and other “nefarious” things. According to him, Russia is going in the direction of 1776 while the US is going in the opposite direction. They even - the claim Alex Jones masterly made a mockery of. He was among those who put into doubt the UK accusation of Russia being the culprit in the Skripal case. It was the limit. They could not tolerate him anymore. One has to pay dearly for being gullible enough to take the freedom of speech in the United States for granted. On Aug.6, Alex Jones issued a warning about the threat to free press across the internet.
Looks like there is a purge going on as Radio host and editorial director of antiwar.com Scott Horton, former State Department employee and author Peter Van Buren, and Dan McAdams, the executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, found their twitter accounts suspended on Aug.6. Some high profile people espousing conservative views and aligned with President Trump, including lawmakers, have been “shadow banned” by Twitter. Many “pro-Trump” journalists have lost jobs just for making posts. Widespread suppression of “Trump-aligned” analysis and independent media is unfettered.
Vice News reports have confirmed this conclusion. According to the source, Liberals and Democrats are not subject to the so-called “shadow banning” in the same way. For instance, nothing has happened to Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-California), who has incited “mob violence” encouraging her supporters to harass members of the Trump administration in public. Apple has removed Alex Jones but Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam who has described Adolf Hitler as ''a very great man”, can use its platform to his heart content.
A report published by the Media Research Center (MRC) in April concluded that the major social media sites - Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the Google search engine - suppress conservative speech in a "clear effort to censor the conservative worldview from the public conversation." Entitled CENSORED! How Online Media Companies Are Suppressing Conservative Speech, the paper offers numerous convincing examples of such suppression. The crackdown on Russian media in the United States – RT and Sputnik - is part of the trend.
InfoWars strongly supported President Trump during the election campaign. As one can see, it’s tech companies, not Russia, who is meddling into midterm elections in November. Probably, it won’t take long before other conservative outlets, such as BreitbartNews, DailyCaller and the like will be banned from tech giants’ platforms. If it’s not meddling to threaten US democracy, than what is?
Voices expressing the opinion opposite to mainstream media are deprived of the opportunity to be heard by voters before the 2018 midterms. A campaign to massively censor Conservatives and Libertarians is launched in the United States to deprive people of their fundamental rights. It is expected to be worse. Democratic Senator Chris Murphy has already called for social media websites to ban more conservative news outlets in the aftermath of InfoWars being purged from the Internet. With all the ballyhoo raised about “Russiagate”, the real threat to democracy coming from within is largely unaddressed. Tech giants impose their rules of the game, squeezing opposition out to turn their platforms into tools of propaganda with no place for alternative points of view. DrudgeReport.com, Breitbart News, Fox News and smaller outlets marching out of step are expected to be next.