August 6, 2018
All but one of the major content platforms have banned the American conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, as the companies raced to act in the wake of Apple’s decision to remove five podcasts by Jones and his Infowars website.
Facebook unpublished four pages run by Jones for “repeated violations of community standards”, the company said on Monday. YouTube terminated Jones’s account over him repeatedly appearing in videos despite being subject to a 90-day ban from the website, and Spotify removed the entirety of one of Jones’s podcasts for “hate content”.
Facebook’s removal of the pages – the Alex Jones Channel Page, the Alex Jones Page, the Infowars Page and the Infowars Nightly News Page – comes after the social network imposed a 30-day ban on Jones personally “for his role in posting violating content to these pages”.
Following that suspension, a Facebook spokesperson said: “More content from the same pages has been reported to us – upon review, we have taken it down for glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanising language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies.”
The spokesperson noted that, despite the focus on Jones’s role in spreading conspiracy theories around events such as the 9/11 attacks and Sandy Hook school shooting, “none of the violations that spurred today’s removals were related to this”.
A few hours after Facebook announced its ban, YouTube also terminated Jones’s account on its platform. The company issued a statement that didn’t refer to Jones by name, saying only that: “All users agree to comply with our terms of service and community guidelineswhen they sign up to use YouTube. When users violate these policies repeatedly, like our policies against hate speech and harassment, or our terms prohibiting circumvention of our enforcement measures, we terminate their accounts.”