One notable event over the past few days was the banning of Alex Jones’ Infowars from Facebook and YouTube and other media platforms. Many websites on the alt-right now expect to be subjected to the same treatment. Their crime, of course, is to entertain and publish conservative ideas. Doing this is now known as “hate speech”.
Another casualty, more or less at the same time, seems to be the mysterious Q or QAnon. After dead silence for months, the mainstream media have been been all over the story: e.g. here and here and here. It’s been reported that GitHub has removed qanon.pub, which carried a comprehensive list of all Q’s enigmatic posts. And I’ve heard one report that the anons on 8Chan where Q posts have also been silenced.
So have both Alex Jones and Q been terminated? Has the alt-right been delivered a devastating blow from which they’ll never recover?
Perhaps not. For one effect of the blast of mainstream media publicity has been to vastly boost the number of internet searches for Q and QAnon. A lot of people who had never heard of Q now know a bit more about it/him/them. Such is the oxygen of publicity.
Furthermore I suspect that the silencing of both Q and Alex Jones will make them both far more sought after than ever before. Both parties are well able to speak for themselves, and I am sure that they will both shortly re-appear on the internet on new platforms, with a larger and an even more fanatical set of followers/believers. Alex Jones had about 2.5 million subscribers to his now-banned YouTube channel. That’s 2.5 million people who will want to hear from him again.
In the United Kingdom and in some other places, the silly season is the period lasting for a few summer months typified by the emergence of frivolous news stories in the media. It is known in many languages as the cucumber time.
The former foreign secretary, who stood down in protest of Mrs May’s ultra-soft Brexit plan, made the comments in a 1,000-word essay where he argued that such garments should not be banned in the United Kingdom, as it has been in several other European nations and even some Muslim-majority countries.
Tory party chairman Brandon Lewis has also called for Mr Johnson to say sorry, as Muslim Tory peers say the party should punish him by withdrawing the whip. Some speakers on the BBC have even argued he should be prosecuted for a “hate crime.”
Indeed, humorous comments have already generated a complaint to the police for “spreading a hate crime,” The Times reports.
It could also be investigated under the Tory Party’s code of conduct, which insists members “lead by example to encourage and foster respect and tolerance”.
…unless people are smokers, of course. Smokers are not to be shown any respect or tolerance at all.
Polls and surveys have consistently shown a majority of Brits support a ban on the burqa or full face covering.