Apple, Facebook, YouTube, Spotify and most other major internet distributors took a bold step this week when they all but banned content from Infowars, a website run by the right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. The tech companies cited their policies against hate speech for their decision, rather than the trafficking in fake news by Infowars.
It's tempting to applaud this move, but we should be wary. While Mr. Jones's rhetoric is certainly repugnant, mounting pressure from the political left to censor hateful speech may have unintended consequences, especially for people of color.
That's because "hate" is a dangerously elastic label, one that has long been used in America to demonize unpopular expression.