Sen. Chris Murphy thinks tech giants banning Alex Jones’ Infowars is a good start, but says the “survival of our democracy” depends on sites like Facebook and YouTube removing additional content.
“Infowars is the tip of a giant iceberg of hate and lies that uses sites like Facebook and YouTube to tear our nation apart. These companies must do more than take down one website. The survival of our democracy depends on it,” Murphy, D-Conn., tweeted on Monday.
The controversial Jones and his Infowars content were removed from Facebook, YouTube, Apple and Spotify this week. Jones is a notorious conspiracy theorist who has been widely criticized for polarizing content, including discredited claims about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Many staunch Infowars critics condemned the tech giants’ decision, noting that censoring him could result in further actions against people who aren’t accepted by the mainstream media – which appears to be exactly what Murphy wants.
Murphy wrote that “Facebook and Apple and YouTube have gotten so big they sometimes seem like the government,” but reminded his 704,000 followers that the technology giants aren’t publicly controlled.
“They are private companies that shouldn’t knowingly spread lies and hate. They took a good first step today by removing Infowars,” Murphy wrote.
Murphy’s Twitter account was filled with negative reaction to his call for additional censorship.
Talk radio host Tony Bruno responded, “Thanks for confirming your hatred of the First Amendment Chris. You do realize this is not what Democracy looks like, don't you?”
“In other words you won't rest until you control the entire message. You won't be happy until you dictate everything we get to hear. I didn't like Jones but you scare me far more,” a user said.
Another user added, “You’re advocating censorship, how progressive!”
Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro explained to Murphy, “You’re a governmental official and there is a thing called the First Amendment.”
Murphy bills himself as a “strong voice” for job creation, affordable health care, education, stricter gun laws and progressive foreign policy. He has been among the Senate’s most liberal members and attacks President Trump on a regular basis.
Murphy recently said Trump is “waging a very deliberate assault on the American health care system” and called for Connecticut to create its own insurance mandate.
Murphy is seeking re-election in November.