Democratic Senator Chris Murphy from Connecticut offered a "chilling" commentary on the digital ban on the Infowars conspiracy website, and the response from social media was less than positive.
"Survival of our democracy depends on it"
Murphy said on his social media account that the survival of our political system depended on social media companies stifling even more speech.
Infowars is the tip of a giant iceberg of hate and lies that uses sites like Facebook and YouTube to tear our natio… https://t.co/lrZfNIoKdV— Chris Murphy (@Chris Murphy)1533590764.0
"Infowars is the tip of a giant iceberg of hate and lies that uses sites like Facebook and YouTube to tear our nation apart," he tweeted.
"These companies must do more than take down one website," he added. "The survival of our democracy depends on it."
Infowars and its chief personality Alex Jones have been criticized widely for spreading false news and conspiracy theories, but many more are criticizing how the company has been banned by many social media companies. The social media platforms accused Jones and Inforwars of bullying and the use of hate speech to justify their actions.
Murphy offered additional justification for his anti-speech statement in further tweets.
"Private companies deciding not to let their platforms be used to spread hate and lies is not the same as government censorship," he tweeted.
Private companies deciding not to let their platforms be used to spread hate and lies is not the same as government… https://t.co/hO1HNkR2b9— Chris Murphy (@Chris Murphy)1533651936.0
"If it feels the same, then we need to ask why a small handful of companies have so much control over the content Americans see," he added.
"The 'slippery slope' argument is right wing tripe," he added later in a response to Donald Trump Jr. "No company is compelled to smear the reputations of dead kids' parents, and no elected official (even Democrats) are required to stand idly by."
What was the reaction?
Senator Murphy's demand that more voices be stifled was not met with a cheery reaction from many on social media.
"This is a little...alarmist," said Brian Phillips of the Texas Public Policy Foundation. "Not a single person I know - right, left, middle, Republican, Democrat, Independent, in politics or out, whatever level of engagement of current events - is even remotely influenced by anything said on InfoWars."
"The survival of our democracy depends on the restriction of free speech? This is a chilling comment from a government official," responded conservative commentator Matt Walsh. "If his constituents care at all about freedom, they will make him pay for it come election time."
Dan Gainor of the Media Research Center called Murphy's statement "fascist" and said that he didn't "believe in free speech," and hated the Constitution he is supposed to serve.
Benjamin Weingarten of the Federalist offered a simple quote from Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes as a response.
"If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the principle of free thought — not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate," the quote read.