The de-platforming of Alex Jones and InfoWars is a subject that has a number of layers to it, including the responsibilities social media companies have to free speech — particularly in a world where the lines between Big Tech and Big Government are increasingly blurred. While I’ll leave others to debate those particular subjects, these developments — and reactions to it — do help provide clarity to another heated tech-related debate: the hypocrisy of “net neutrality” advocates.
After all, there is a ton of overlap between those who advocated Title II regulation of the internet and those celebrating the deplatforming of Alex Jones. This is particularly true among the most powerful players in this debate, including legislators and leaders in the industry.
Consider, for example, the reaction from Big Tech to the FCC’s repeal Title II regulation last December.
Facebook’s Sherryl Sansberg published a statement saying: “An open internet is critical for new ideas and economic opportunity. … We’re ready to work with members of Congress and others to help make the internet free and open for everyone.”
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Google encouraged online activists to “take action,” in order to “protect the free flow of information and help make sure the Internet is available to everyone, everywhere.”
An open internet ensures that hundreds of millions of consumers get the experience they want, over the broadband connections they choose, to use the devices they love, which have become an integral part of their lives.
What consumers do with those tools is up to them — not Apple, and not broadband…