Conspiracy website Infowars was kicked off multiple social media platforms Monday morning, with the sites citing the Alex Jones outlet’s history of hate speech.
Facebook removed four Infowars videos and suspended Jones for 30 days last month after posting videos that violated its standards. At the time, the company hinted Jones and Infowars were “close to being unpublished given recent community standards violations.”
But weeks later, Facebook went even further, banning Jones and several Infowars pages from the platform entirely.
In a press release Monday, Facebook explained that since the initial suspension, “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 dehumanizing 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 guidelines when 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.”
Soon thereafter, Jones and his podcast was banned by Spotify and five of the six Infowars podcasts were removed from Apple.
“Apple does not tolerate hate speech, and we have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users,” an Apple spokesperson said in a statement. Spotify likewise indicated Jones fell afoul of its hate speech policy.
Apple does not host podcasts, nor does it have any financial relationship with those it catalogues on its directory, according to a report in the Guardian. Instead, Apple Podcasts is simply a list of links to podcasts hosted on independent servers around the world. But the service is still the most important single platform in the podcasting industry, driving a substantial amount of traffic to the podcasts it features on its homepage or in its charts, according to the Guardian report.
Publishing platforms have faced strong pressure to take action against Jones and Infowars over the past few months, but Apple was the first major company to sanction the broadcaster in its entirety, narrowly beating Facebook to the punch.
Jones, who faces lawsuits for claiming the Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax and the grieving parents were “crisis actors,” insisted Monday that he was the victim of “communist censorship.”
By: Alex Griswold
(Washington Free Beacon)
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