- The Washington Times - Monday, August 6, 2018

YouTube and Facebook shut down Alex Jones on their platforms Monday, the latest in a growing crackdown from social media platforms on the controversial radio host.

YouTube completely removed The Alex Jones Channel and the Infowars Interviews Monday afternoon after the page received multiple strikes for violating the company’s community standards.

Visitors can still access the channels but will find a message from YouTube instead of Mr. Jones’ videos.

In March, Mr. Jones said his channel’s removal was imminent. Monday’s termination came five months later.

However, the Infowars Documentaries channel Mr. Jones touted as a replacement is still published on YouTube. Nine videos are currently viewable.

Facebook released a lengthy statement regarding their enforcement process in light of the pushback against Mr. Jones.

“All four Pages have been unpublished for repeated violations of Community Standards and accumulating too many strikes,” it read, “While much of the discussion around Infowars has been related to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.”

The company uses a strike system to monitor how many times a page or admin violates their community standards. After an unspecified number of violations, an account could be suspended and a page could be unpublished, which is what happened to Mr. Jones’ and some of his pages.

“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,” the statement read, “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.”

The Alex Jones, Channel Page, the Alex Jones Page, the InfoWars Page and Infowars Nightly News Page were all unpublished. According to Facebook’s policy, admins can appeal the decision. If that fails, the page is completely removed.

It is unconfirmed if Infowars went through the appeals process, but its editor-at-large Paul Watson said the outlet was banned.

A Facebook representative said details regarding appeals of a particular page’s status cannot be shared, citing privacy reasons.

Mr. Watson likened American news outlets and social media outlets to the Russian and Chinese governments and accused them of censorship.

Facebook suspended Alex Jones on July 27. He was blocked from posting on the site for a month.

Facebook is not the only social media platform cracking down on Mr. Jones. Youtube removed four videos from their platform July 25. 

Apple removed five of six Inforwars podcasts from iTunes and its podcast platforms, Buzzfeed news reported on Sunday.

“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 told Buzzfeed.

A Spotify spokesperson also confirmed to Buzzfeed and Mashable the reports that it removed some of Mr. Jones’ podcasts.

The music streaming service published an updated policy for hate content and conduct on Aug 1, a day before reports surfaced about its crackdown on Infowars.

“Spotify does not permit content whose principal purpose is to incite hatred or violence against people because of their race, religion, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation,” the statement read, “As we’ve done before, we will remove content that violates that standard. We’re not talking about offensive, explicit, or vulgar content – we’re talking about hate speech.”

• Gabriella Muñoz can be reached at gmunoz@washingtontimes.com.

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