We struggle to name a human being as awful as the stinking rotten block of cheese in the national refrigerator named Alex Jones. We struggle to name a media outlet as heinous as his Infowars.

The first instinct of every good American should be to cheer the social networks that kicked him to the curb Monday.

Jones, a liar and a bully and a professional harasser, is public enemy No. 1 of decent discourse.

He pushed a conspiracy theory centered around a pizza parlor that led to a deranged follower shooting in the establishment. He spreads vile lies aimed at the victims of school shootings and their families, calling them “crisis actors.”

This may well qualify as defamation; the parents of children in Sandy Hook have sued him, claiming just that.

The talking slug has a right, under the Constitution, to spout his drivel on a street corner. But not to broadcast to thousands on Facebook or Apple podcasts or Spotify or YouTube, all privately operated platforms ostensibly dedicated to encouraging the (at least reasonably) civil exchange of ideas.


Yet when Facebook and the other companies all rushed to drop Jones in what felt like a tech game of hot potato, they generally cited him breaking “hate speech” rules.

Well. Facebook and YouTube, the closest things the internet has to true public squares, also host anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan and former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke.

And many others whose hate may be less creative than Jones’ but is no less real.

Sept. 11 truthers, flat-earthers and birthers (one of whom is, ahem, President) are also safe in its woodwork.

The burden’s on the social media giants to define their terms clearly, and explain their decisions deliberately, to show that they’re booting bad ones based on clear standards, not engaging in arbitrary or ideological purges.

Editorial by the New York Daily News

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