Alex Jones is having a lot of fun as of late. On top of recent court battles he now gets to add the pain of having his content removed from several major aggregators:
Apple, Facebook, YouTube and Spotify took their most aggressive steps yet to penalize conspiracy theorist and prominent right-wing talk show host Alex Jones for violating their hate speech policies.
Apple, Facebook, Spotify, and Google are all private businesses that have every right to refuse service to anybody. Moreover, I understand why any company would want to refuse service to Alex Jones. However, this is yet another lesson on the cost of centralization.
The aggregation of a majority of people’s information is now controlled by a handful of companies. This situation would be egregious if those companies used heavy handed tactics to coerce creators into relying on their services for distribution. But the power that companies like Apple, Facebook, and Google hold was given to them by creators who didn’t want to deal with the hassle of distribution themselves. Now that those companies have that power, they can make creators who don’t have their own distribution channel disappear.
Alex Jones is better off than many in this case because he, as far as I know, maintains his own infrastructure so his content is still available to his fan base. But other creators should be paying attention. If you don’t maintain your own infrastructure, everything you’ve created and your connection with your fans would vanish with the snap of a few companies’ fingers.