Facebook and YouTube give Infowars' Alex Jones a wrist slap

Marsha Scott
July 28, 2018

The 30-day ban now affects Alex Jones personally, but not his fellow InfoWars page admins.

"Our Community Standards make it clear that we prohibit content that encourages physical harm [bullying], or attacks someone based on their religious affiliation or gender identity [hate speech]", a Facebook spokesperson told Mashable. "We remove content that violates our standards as soon as we're aware of it".

In fact, Jones appeared on a livestreamed Facebook video on his page today, shortly after the suspension went into effect, in which he claimed that he was the victim of a media conspiracy to "de-platform" conservative voices.

Moreover, Facebook added that Jones' account was quite close to the point where it may face permanent deletion from the social network.

Infowars didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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During the suspension, Jones will be unable to post from his profile.

"This is war", Jones said in the video. Only after YouTube took down Jones' videos two days ago did Facebook revisit this content and declare its earlier decision mistaken. On the other hand, YouTube issues strikes to whole channels: in Jones' most recent case, he's banned from live streaming on his channel for 90 days. YouTube said the video had violated its policies around harassment and bullying. On Facebook, punishing the InfoWars host isn't the same as punishing the InfoWars page.

A reminder: Jones was recently sued by parents of children massacred in the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting after his website InfoWars spread conspiracy theories that the children were "crisis actors" and that the shooting was a hoax.

Just this past Wednesday at TCA, Facebook, attempting to focus on its Facebook Watch platform, faced renewed questions about its handling of InfoWars. In the statement, Jones accused CNN of publicly calling for the banning of his free speech and of being on a "campaign against competing news organizations and the First Amendment", which he called "outrageously anti-American".

"Look, as abhorrent as some of this content can be, I do think that it gets down to this principle of giving people a voice", Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive, said in a Recode podcast interview. In three separate lawsuits, eight Sandy Hook families and an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent have sued Jones for defamation, The New York Times reports.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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