If you didn’t much care that Alex Jones and Infowars haf been banned from social media giants such as Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, and others, now maybe you should start to worry as the emboldened social media outlets are already moving to ban other center right groups. This week, for instance, they have started quashing the accounts of gun rights groups.
The story comes from The Washington Free Beacon:
A coalition of gun-rights groups that published the gun-design files at the center of the case against 3D-printed gun pioneer Cody Wilson told the Washington Free Beacon on Tuesday that Facebook and Amazon have attempted to censor access to the website hosting the files.
Brandon Combs, president of the Firearms Policy Coalition, told the Free Beacon that links to CodeIsFreeSpeech.com have been blocked by Facebook, and Amazon has taken the site down from its servers. The website, which has republished the gun-design files at the center of the Wilson case, is a joint project of the Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearms Policy Foundation, Calguns Foundation, and California Association of Federal Firearms Licenses. Combs said publishing the files was within their First Amendment rights and the actions taken by employees at the tech giants is an attempt to censor them that he believes may have wide-ranging consequences.
“It was humans involved with Amazon just like in Facebook,” Combs said. “This is not an algorithm-based issue, they were making human policy decisions. And the issue at Amazon is not done yet. It’s been escalated, and frankly I think many enterprise-clients view this as troubling because [it’s one thing] if you have legal speech that is simply protected and somebody files a complaint, but if it’s just as simple as saying ‘unwanted content’ to take down an instance at AWS [Amazon Web Services], then nobody’s safe.”
Amazon said that if the group did not remove its plans for “The Liberator” gun, their account would be banned. But, the group maintains that the plans are not illegal (at least not yet).
Fortunately, the group says it was planning for this eventuality and had moved their pages elsewhere, so their service was not completely shut down. But Facebook also acted.
“Facebook did not just block CodeIsFreeSpeech.com prospectively. Facebook forced a company-wide (Facebook, Messenger, Instagram) takedown of content about and inclusive of CodeIsFreeSpeech.com,” Combs said. “Facebook banned the URL throughout their products. I even tried to setup Facebook for Work. But even that platform banned discussion of CodeIsFreeSpeech.com. What we are experiencing is a complete ban on CodeIsFreeSpeech.com—not a ‘shadow ban,’ not a reduced newsfeed presence, but a complete ban.”
Free Beacon has far more info on these actions. But the point is, Alex Jones was just the start, folks. Now it is gun rights groups, then it will be religious groups, and then it will be outlets such as Breitbart News and Fox News. Ultimately, these social networks plan to eliminate any and all center right speech on the Internet.
That would include YOU, Republican Party.
They can’t do it by act of Congress, but they can do it by exclusion, just like a guild does to prevent entrepreneurs from entering the market place.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.
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