Following the recent tech hearings on Capitol Hill, right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and InfoWars were permanently banned from Twitter. Not long after that, Apple finally removed the InfoWars app from its App Store. Although the push to ban Jones from popular social media platforms was ultimately successful, one question remained: Why are so many white supremacist hate groups still allowed to flourish?
YouTube currently allows white nationalists like Nick Fuentes, Mark Collett, and Jean-François Gariépy to spread hate speech unabated. Another extremist media outlet, Red Ice, continues to publish videos which receive hundreds of thousands of views. Although this has come at a price as well. Recently Red Ice was banned from PayPal, as were its owners Henrik Palmgren and Lana Lokteff.
Palmgren had a meltdown not long ago after Jones was banned from YouTube, because he correctly realized that if Jones could be banned then even more extreme voices like his would be next. And in another episode, Palmgren and his guest, Vincent James of the alt-right Red Elephants website, knew exactly who to blame for this crackdown: the Jews, of course.
James, who has spoken on Neo-Nazi podcasts and once targeted a Louisiana high school teacher for harassment, zeroed in on remarks made by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg about using “third party fact-checkers” to root out fake news. “But when she talks about third party fact-checkers, we all know who they are,” James said. “That’s the ADL. That’s people that are just like her, connected very similar in DNA to Sheryl Sandberg.”
In case blaming people who are “very similar in DNA to Sheryl Sandberg” was too subtle, James went after the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) by calling the organization a “foreign agent.” He then said that “if you look at what they’re about, if you look at their About page, the only defamation that they’re defending against is defamation against Israel.”
This is untrue. The ADL does not hide its pro-Israel slant, but it has criticized racism against black and white people, xenophobia, homophobia, misogyny, and other forms of bigotry.
“So essentially, Israel you can say, is controlling what we can say and can’t say on social media,” James continued. “Yeah, talk about meddling,” Palmgren added. “There’s so many other companies that have their finger in the American intelligence pie, and there’s even Israeli companies that are getting contracts, very sensitive data contracts and security contracts and stuff like that.”
Palmgren called the situation “ridiculous” and said that while Alex Jones was correct in talking about how China influences U.S. tech companies like Apple, “that’s like talking about, I dunno, level four or five when there’s like a level one, two, three, four of other operatives and interest groups that already have their fingers, not only in the American pie,* they’re literally at the wheel, they’re at the helm in steering the country.”
He suggested that if the U.S. government were truly concerned about election interference they could look into “so many other issues” other than Russian or Chinese meddling. “Right, Russia and Iran,” said James, “Hmmm, I wonder why they’re most focused on Russia and Iran. We’ve gotta stop their meddling. But Israel, they’re completely fine. Free pass.”
*Henrik, please come up with a different metaphor than putting one’s fingers in the American pie. That just sounds wrong.