Last night I did something I hadn't done in a very long time: I removed a published post from this blog. Nobody told or asked me to remove the post. Nor did anyone threaten legal action or worse. Moreover, the post had only been up about four hours, and in that time, according to Blogger's helpful stats-tracking, only one person had read it, indicating to me that Whirled Musings is as wildly popular as ever. I just can't keep up with the demand.
But after talking about it with my husband, I had some serious second thoughts, given how unhinged and litigious the subject appears to be (not to mention how apparently well-backed financially he is). From all indications he is a serial scammer, but has positioned himself as an American hero, which has earned him a significant following of people who are all too willing to throw their hard-earned money into his various political and social "causes." He's a genius at raising money. What happens to the money after he raises it is a matter that I'll leave to the big investigative journos for now.
I'm not giving myself short shrift or being falsely modest, but merely honest, when I state that like much of the content on this Whirled, my deleted post wasn't breaking any new ground. I was only reporting and linking to other credible sources about this man and his many schemes. But I simply don't have the resources to deal with any serious blow-back at this point.
What really sticks in my gut about this matter is the fact that this guy has become such an advocate/activist for "free speech," even starting a crowdfunding page, supposedly to protect free speech, though apparently the real purpose is to pursue legal action against platforms (e.g. Facebook) that he feels have "censored" him. He has already raised tens of thousands of dollars for this cause. But, like so many other folks I've observed, it appears that he believes "free speech" only applies to him and his allies. He has threatened and harassed and even doxxed some of his critics and detractors, and has then turned around and sued them (and crowd-funded his legal costs). His litigiousness, as well as his double standards about free speech -- not to mention his right wingnutty political and social opinions and his love of (actual) fake news -- remind me very much of a nutcake I've previously dealt with. But this guy has a much greater following than that nutcake.
So I'll leave it to others to do the heavy lifting on this one: those who either have the backing of a strong legal team or who are lawyers themselves. Meanwhile, I'll go on being an advocate of free speech, even if it's speech I don't like.
PS ~ Free speech doesn't mean consequence-free speech, as whiny, blubbery conspiracy peddler Alex Jones learned again when the courts handed a victory to plaintiffs in a defamation suit against him. The plaintiffs in question are families of the Sandy Hook shooting victims, who alleged that they faced frightening threats and harassment as a result of Jones' continual public claims that the shooting was a hoax, The court ruled that Jones' fake-news org Infowars must turn over internal documents to these families.
Related on this Whirled:
- August 2018: Alex Jones and the usual whiners: censor-y deprivation?
- August 2018: Collusion confusion: the free press v. Donald Trump
- November 2018: Randazzled: Hail the free-screech superhero of [alleged] rapists and Nazis and trolls
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