Tech giants like Facebook and YouTube banning Alex Jones and his hateful content from their platform was justified, argues Will Oremus of Slate. While this does open up a big debate about what these companies’ roles in policing bigotry are, it was a necessary step forward in fighting the spread of racism on the internet. The companies involved may have been reacting to the public’s mood, which isn’t the best decider of what is appropriate, but Jones’ content had been flowing freely for too long. Online platforms need to take a stand to ensure that lies and racism don’t get boosted thanks to them. Jones, who peddles dangerous conspiracy theories and extremely hateful ideals, shouldn't have the right to spread his views unopposed.
Companies like Facebook and Google regulating what opinions are okay to have on their platforms is a dangerous violation of free speech, suggests Mark Penn of The Hill. While policing voices that promote violence and hate is acceptable, this step veers into demonizing certain political opinions, which is bad for democracy. Facebook and Google are far more than private companies. They are the gatekeepers to social media, which most rely on for communication. Limiting certain views opens the door to unpopular opinions being choked. This is highly risky, as what is right and moral isn’t always accepted by the masses, which is why freedom of speech is such an essential pillar of American society.