Roku deletes Alex Jones' Infowars after user outrage and canceled orders

There are different forms of intolerance. Roku gets A+. Nazi punchers get D- from me. Violence is indeed the important factor.

Can someone remind me how many people nazi punchers have killed in the last decade, compared to how many the far right have killed?

Anti-fascist collective self defence is the failure mode of liberal justice. I have never gone looking for a fight, but fascists came for me regardless and I still have the scars 15 years later. A copy of The Kingdom of God is Within You isn’t going to help when they come to purge you.

21 Likes

I can’t find any reliable evidence that far right people are any more likely to kill than other groups. But I am sure there would be a lot of deaths if they all went around punching people they don’t like.

You sound like me when I was young and naive.

Let’s do a quick count, just from the last two years in the US.

For the far right:








For the left (which was an attempted murder):

I will repeat for you

I am not going to be a martyr for your pacifism. I am prepared to defend myself against those who have openly called for the deaths of people like me.

If you don’t like that then offer solutions rather than “both sides are the same” style blame.

38 Likes

There is no paradox. Human rights are universal and equal to all. Once you try to limit rights of other groups you step outside the realm of human rights and don’t get to claim them as a privilege for yourself.

If I walk off of a soccer field I get to pick balls with my hands if I so choose but then so can other people.

2 Likes

If only he’d stuck to chemtrails and proving Obama is the devil, everything would have been just fine. But he had to mess with the kids.

The Nazis? The Klan? The various military juntas that plagued Latin America in the second half of the 20th century?

16 Likes

There is, you even pointed it out.

The far right are trying to limit the rights of other groups, have stepped outside the realm of human rights and are trying to claim those rights as a privilege for themselves. What do you propose as a solution to this that doesn’t cause the paradox of tolerance? Leaving the far right alone causes the paradox, as does limiting their speech.

14 Likes

Before I say anything, fuck Alex Jones and fuck the whole freeze peach argument.

But, this one confuses me slightly. I looked into a making Roku station at one point. It’s been a few years so correct me if I’m wrong, but Roku doesn’t host content, or at least they didn’t used too. You had to have a CDN (Content Delivery Network) for your video files. Roku just hosts the “channel” which is basically just a glorified DVD menu. Somehow, Roku just having the Infowars DVD menu doesn’t bother me that much. There are a metric fuckton of weird public access level channels on Roku (may I recommend Infochammel and OSI74 ) as long as Roku wasn’t featuring Infowars on their new or popular channels menus, I don’t really care that much. Roku’s search function kind of sucks sometimes, so I’m kind of fine if that was the only way to find his channel. The CDN hosting Infowars is a different story IMO. I do see that a lot of people might not agree with me, and that’s fine. It may be a weird distinction to make, but Roku has never seemed like that much of a walled garden to me.

Which leads me to my more cynical point. It’s pretty easy to side load unofficial Roku channels onto your Roku. If they knew getting kicked out of the Roku “store” was a possibility, they could easily have had all the instructions on how to side load their channel on their website and ready to go (I’m not going to give them the clicks to go look.) Since all the Alex Jones deplatforming, his numbers have been down. His techies build a Roku channel, because lets face it, it’s really one of his only options at this point. Infowars is maybe able to signal boost the fact that they got kicked of Roku, and suddenly every site on the net is talking about it. Infowars just got an amazing amount of free advertising that may be making fair weather Infowars fans go check out their site to be able to read how to side load the channel onto their Roku. This could be a win-win for Jones.

I don’t think the scenario you are describing is implausible. Any given action against a Jones might end up just boosting his profile.

Still, the story of people taking a stand against Jones, as a whole, is one of huge success. He’s been significantly deplatformed and it hurting because of it. Perhaps some people will find their way to Alex Jones because we are talking about how bad he is, but others might read about him and learn more about dangerous conspiracy theorists in general, or learn about how an idea they’ve dipped their toes into is connected to persecuting the families of Sandy Hook victims.

I think people think far too much about the possibility that fighting against something will actually end up helping it. Reality never gives us certainty that our efforts will work out in any endeavour. We all just have to keep doing our best. And I think the best evidence looking at Jones (and others who have been deplatformed, had their book deals and TV shows cancelled, had their brands removed from stores) is that shouting them down works.

6 Likes

quarter

6 Likes

One of Jones’ main tactics is to free-ride as much as possible on CDNs (e.g. YouTube) and/or marketing channels (which was what he was trying to do with Roku). I’m fine with his being de-platformed again and again even if it means a slight and temporary uptick in publicity (usually the bad sort) for him. The handful of people who’ll go to the trouble of sideloading Infowars on Roku have already drunk his Kool-Aid.

The only major infrastructure service I’ll give a pass to for not kicking him off is Cloudflare’s DDoS/downtime mitigation service. They’re not providing marketing or CDN for him (I believe the company has a new CDN service, but it’s paid and might have a different ToS).

8 Likes

LSt

9 Likes

I’m sort of disinclined to agree with that sentiment. The money quote from Roku in yesterday’s “InfoWars has been re-platformed” article is:

While open to many voices, we have policies that prohibit the publication of content that is unlawful, incites illegal activities or violates third-party rights, among other things. If we determine a channel violates these policies, it will be removed. To our knowledge, InfoWars is not currently in violation of these content policies.

Which suggests that either

  1. They did do a review when this was initially brought to them, and decided it was fine to carry the content of a school-shooting-victims harasser until “concerned parties” (read: “people with lots of money and a strong desire not to be placed next to Alex Jones on Roku’s service”) pointed out what a stupid-ass decision that was, or
  2. They didn’t perform a review of the channel and its creator’s behavior before coming out with that statement, which smacks of incompetence and a complete lack of interest in actually enforcing their own content policies.

Either way, I don’t think “reacting quickly to the PR nightmare created by blithely saying ‘InfoWars is fine, actually’” counts as “paying attention”.

2 Likes

Well I for one am glad. I’ve used Roku’s ever since I cut the chord and didn’t want to have to go buy a couple of new devices for our televisions (but had already begun planning to do so).

Consumers deserve to be protected from rip-off artists like him, hawking dangerously bad products on the shoulders of insane conspiracy theories. It’s the Music Man at work. If government won’t protect us from the scammers (spoiler alert: they won’t), then the people will use what power they have to do the work. These days it means hitting them in their pocket book, because that’s the only thing that matters to corporations.

4 Likes

Well, according to his divorce lawyer, Alex Jones is a “performance artist”.

4 Likes

There is no paradox, When they stepped off the field the rules did not apply to them anymore. Therefor they can not claim the rights these rules protect nor are other people required to honour them.

See: outlaw.

I also don’t think much of the “paradox”. It makes too much of the words “tolerance” and “intolerance” and doesn’t look at the reality of what those things mean.

I know this analogy will seem ridiculous to many, but when my kid was little I didn’t take a really hard line when they hit me, I figured I could take it if they were really angry. That was wrong. I needed to set a line and say it is not okay to hurt people. Not for my sake, but for theirs.

If I see the whole world through a compassionate lens (and I don’t always) it is perfectly, utterly consistent to say that Jones needs to be deplatformed and stopped from spewing his hatred while at the same time standing up for the right of other people with radical views to speak. These are not even the same category of action, no matter how superficially related they appear.

We need to do the hard job of growing the fuck up and realizing that democracy means we are in charge. If Alex Jones is incapable of remorse then we need to shut him down to protect other people from him. If he isn’t then deplatforming Alex Jones is the kindest thing we can do to Alex Jones.

We don’t let people hurt other people or themselves. And if we aren’t doing it for our own sake, we should do it for theirs.

And if I made it sound like I think I’m Alex Jones’ kindergarten teacher, I realize I’m not. But I think it’s pretty obvious that he needs one.

2 Likes

I think my confusion is over who “they” are. If you mean the likes of Alex Jones then I am in agreement with you.

The problem is that I have seen some people (the far right and free speech maximalists) claim that any attempt to stop the far right from advocating ethnic cleansing, genocide and other crimes against humanity is breaking the rules. This is where my confusion came in and where the paradox comes into play. The point isn’t to persuade the far right, but to explain to free speech maximalists that unrestricted free speech will lead to speech being limited far more than if there are a few well explained exceptions to free speech.

3 Likes

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.