Facebook removes conspiracy monger Alex Jones for hate, bullying

Enlarge  Alex Jones Oli Scarff  Getty Images

Additionally, the site notes that the suspension was at least in part due to Jones and InfoWars' efforts to circumvent the live-streaming ban that YouTube put in place last week.

In a statement, a YouTube spokesperson said the decision follows prior warnings to Jones about his content. Facebook previously removed four specific videos for violating its policies and subjected Jones's personal page to a 30-day ban, during which he continued to post text and video through alternate pages.

InfoWars Editor-at-large Paul Joseph Watson tweeted on Monday that Facebook had "permanently banned" the outlets page for "unspecified" hate speech and described the move as setting a "chilling precedent for free speech".

Two major media brands removed content by radio and internet host Alex Jones, a notorious conspiracy theorist.

In late July, YouTube issued a strike on Jones' channel after removing four of his videos, which violated its terms of service and community guidelines. Visitors of Jones' main YouTube channel were greeted with a message proclaiming that the account had been for "terminated for violating YouTube's community guidelines". "We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions", the company added.

On Monday, Spotify told the BBC that it too had removed The Alex Jones Show from its podcast listings. Presumably the re-jiggered apple is meant to evoke the Chinese flag, because the caption underneath it reads "The Alex Jones channel on youtube has been removed as communist style censorship takes hold in America for the first time in modern history". Apple moved first to stop showing results for his podcasts - save one - from appearing in the iTunes library, then Facebook and YouTube chose to remove the main InfoWars pages from their sites.

"I think with Alex Jones it's the closest thing to a clear-cut case as you're ever going to get", Dockray said.

Following an initially weak response, Facebook had been under fire for, amid a push by the company to address the proliferation of fake news, allowing Infowars to continue sharing its content and conspiracies about the Sandy Hook shooting, pizza gate and others unabated. An earlier, more limited YouTube crackdown focused on videos that YouTube said violated rules against hate speech and child endangerment.

Jones, who is being sued by the parents of children murdered in the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting for claiming the attack was a hoax, is the host of the daily Alex Jones Show podcast, and his broadcaster Infowars produces another five podcasts. "By banning Infowars, big tech is engaging in election meddling just three months before crucial mid-terms".

The conspiracy theorist has, in the past, also engaged in several anti-Jewish theories, claiming previous year that Jews posed as KKK followers in Charlottesville in order to discredit white supremacist protesters.

Alex Jones has repeatedly produced homophobic and racist content.

Related news: