Why is Alex Jones permitted to have a telephone?
It’s a serious question.
Facebook on Thursday announced that a small assortment of kooks — Alex Jones, Laura Loomer, Milo Yiannopoulos, Paul Joseph Watson, Paul Nehlen, Louis Farrakhan — will be permanently banned from Facebook, Instagram and other platforms it controls. Jones’ publication, Infowars, also will be banned. Praise of these figures, and expressions of support for them, also are to be prohibited.
Facebook is a private company and is under no legal obligation to provide accounts to figures whose views its executives find objectionable.
But how far do we want to extend that line of thinking?
There are about 30 cellphone-service providers in the United States, although the market is dominated by four of them: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint. Federal regulation might prohibit them from discriminating against customers based on their political views, but the principle is the same. Why should Louis Farrakhan be allowed to use a telephone to spread his hateful message? Why should anybody sell him paper — or a pencil, for that matter? Think of the damage he might do with them.
Why should people with unpopular political views be allowed to have jobs? If you employ people with ugly political beliefs, you are providing financial support for the cultivation of those beliefs. Imagine your next job interview: “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?” Communists murdered 100 million people in the 20th century. If that isn’t a hate group, I don’t know what is. In most states, there is no law against corporations discriminating against employees and job applicants for their political views.