Facebook announced today that it removed four pages belonging to Infowars host Alex Jones “for repeatedly posting content over the past several days that breaks” the social media company’s community standards.
The multi-company action against Infowars began with Spotify removing all episodes of The Alex Jones Show podcast. “We take reports of hate content seriously and review any podcast episode or song that is flagged by our community,” a Spotify spokesperson told Entertainment Weekly in a statement today. “Due to repeated violations of Spotify’s prohibited content policies, The Alex Jones Show has lost access to the Spotify platform.”
Apple has also removed Infowars podcasts from its apps. “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,” a company spokesperson said. “Podcasts that violate these guidelines are removed from our directory making them no longer searchable or available for download or streaming. We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions.”
Facebook noted in a lengthy explanation today that “people can say things on Facebook that are wrong or untrue, but we work to limit the distribution of inaccurate information.”
“We partner with third-party fact checkers to review and rate the accuracy of articles on Facebook. When something is rated as false, those stories are ranked significantly lower in News Feed, cutting future views by more than 80 percent,” the company statement said. “When it comes to our Community Standards, they’re focused on keeping people safe. If you post something that goes against our standards, which cover things like hate speech that attacks or dehumanizes others, we will remove it from Facebook.”
“As a result of reports we received, last week, we removed four videos on four Facebook Pages for violating our hate speech and bullying policies. These pages were the Alex Jones Channel Page, the Alex Jones Page, the InfoWars Page and the Infowars Nightly News Page. In addition, one of the admins of these Pages – Alex Jones – was placed in a 30-day block for his role in posting violating content to these Pages,” Facebook continued. “Since then, 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.”
“All four Pages have been unpublished for repeated violations of Community Standards and accumulating too many strikes. While much of the discussion around Infowars has been related to false news, which is a serious issue that we are working to address by demoting links marked wrong by fact checkers and suggesting additional content, none of the violations that spurred today’s removals were related to this.”
YouTube has also removed the The Alex Jones Channel, which now displays the message, “This account has been terminated for violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines.” The account had reportedly racked up some strikes under YouTube’s policy against malicious harassment and bullying with videos after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre claiming victims were “crisis actors.”
Infowars called the moves censorship by a big-tech alliance, with Alex Jones tweeting, “What conservative news outlet will be next?” He also promoted his online livestream.