What type of responsibility do tech companies have in today’s society? That’s my question. I’m not sure. But this whole Alex Jones situation had me thinking about it.
Recently all the big platforms (Facebook, Apple iTunes, Spotify, Youtube) banned Alex Jones’ content from their services. Jones is a far right, conspiracy theorist who has a huge following. His content is pretty extreme and the platforms have classified it as hate speech.
People have been calling for a full ban for a long time, but the platforms refused to because of “free speech”. They only removed certain episodes on a case by case basis. But as soon as Apple decided to enact a full ban, the rest of the platform companies followed suit in mere hours. So really, instead of protecting free speech, it looks like they were just waiting for someone else to go first. That way they could protect their public image and be shielded by saying “look, they did it”.
My question is whether platforms should even be concerned about free speech. After all, they are private companies right? They aren’t run by the government. It’s their platform and they can say who is allowed and who isn’t.
And even if they did allow him, their loyalty is with shareholders, to maximize their value. And if extreme characters like Jones are bringing in millions of views to their platforms, when views equal money, then shouldn’t they let him stay?
What do you think? Let me know in the comments. I would love to discuss.
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And as always, stay Fallible out there investors!