It has been curious that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has been silent on the censoring of right-winger Alex Jones, but now the civil rights group is finally speaking out to say that the attacks on Jones’ free speech is a dangerous precedent to set.
The ACLU is particularly worried about the misuse of “hate speech” claims to quash people’s free speech.
As reported by The Hill newspaper:
Ben Wizner, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) speech, privacy and technology project, warned Monday that bans against Alex Jones and Infowars could set a dangerous precedent.
Wizner told HuffPost that the hate speech policies many social media companies cited when they banned Jones can be “misused and abused.”
Earlier this month, Jones’s content was pulled from Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Vimeo for violating policies related to hate speech. He was later hit with a temporary suspension by Twitter as well.
Wizner said companies had a constitutional right to regulate speech on their platforms, but added that hate speech “turns out to be an extremely subjective term.”
“If [Attorney General] Jeff Sessions, for example, were deciding what’s hate speech, he would be less likely to think KKK and more likely to think [Black Lives Matter],” he said.
In particular, Wizner told HuffPost that he is worried about massive private companies holding the power to define that ambiguous category.
Wizner also worried that financial concerns taking precedence over free speech is a dangerous thing.
“Governments at least purport to be acting solely in the public interest, but platforms are making these decisions based on what’s in their financial interest,” he told the paper. “So their interest might be in avoiding controversy, but do we want the most important speech platforms in the world to avoid controversy?”
This is exactly right. There was a time when speaking out for the civil rights of blacks was “controversial.” Would we want to have made it impossible for civil rights advocates to speak out?
But liberals are all fascists. They hate free speech and always have. Sure, they love their own free speech, but they want it canceled for anyone with whom they disagree.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston
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