CBS Reporter Complains About Free Speech On Social Media

CBS Senior Business and Technology Correspondent Jo Ling Kent criticized Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk for allowing free speech on X, formerly Twitter, and re-platforming Alex Jones in a year-end wrap segment on “Face The Nation.”

Referring to social political discourse online as “a sprawling, endless game of whack-a-mole,” Kent lamented that “information spreads constantly online, and it is continuing to be very hard to stop especially with the arguments and protections of free speech.”

“You know, the social media companies are telling me that they’re throwing every resource that they have to stop misinformation and disinformation,” Kent said. “But the reality here is that taking down all of this bad information has always been an impossible task on platforms of that size.”

After mentioning efforts by Meta — the parent company that owns Facebook and Instagram — to fight voter misinformation on its platforms, Kent took aim at X, saying: “Elon Musk and his team have basically allowed the return of conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones, and they’ve also dramatically reduced the size of their Trust and Safety team.”

Several Silicon Valley tech platforms, including Facebook, YouTube, and Apple, removed Alex Jones content from their apps on the same day in 2018 over allegations that the radio host had made inflammatory statements about transgender people, Muslims, and immigrants. The tech companies also claimed Jones had made statements glorifying violence.

Since then, several mainstream news commentators for outlets such as CNN glorified Black Lives Matter protests in 2020 that turned violent in cities across the United States but did not have their social media accounts banned by Silicon Valley tech platforms.

“Please, show me where it says that protests are supposed to be polite and peaceful, said CNN host Chris Cuomo, for example. “Because I can show you that outraged citizens are what made the country what she is and led to any major milestone.”