YouTube terminated a channel that skirted the platform’s ban on Infowars publisher Alex Jones following the publication of a related report Tuesday.
Created in 2015, “Resistance News” was purged from YouTube shortly after liberal watchdog group Media Matters for America reported that the channel had recently uploaded material including video footage of Mr. Jones discussing last week’s mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand.
The channel disappeared within hours of the report’s publication, and its previously uploaded videos were replaced with a notice that said the account had been “terminated for a violation of YouTube’s Terms of Service.”
“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,” a YouTube spokesperson said later Tuesday, The Verge first reported.
Speaking to The Washington Times afterward, Mr. Jones accused Media Matters of misrepresenting his comments to make it seem as if he said last Friday’s rampage never happened.
“Even if I said it didn’t happen — I’m not some crazy guy, which I didn’t say that — shouldn’t have I right to say that? Instead, now they take the video down, they take the channel down, and then no one can actually see what I said,” Mr. Jones said by phone this week.
“I’ve had friends and family call me when they saw that the channel was taken down and then go, ‘Really, you think nobody died?’ And so that’s how distorted the news is. Because I never said anything close to that,” he added, calling it “very Orwellian.”
YouTube was among more than a dozen major internet companies that took action last summer against Mr. Jones, 46, in light of the company determining that his content had repeatedly violated its policies prohibiting hate speech, putting the Google-owned video platform in the same category as Facebook, Twitter, Spotify and Apple’s podcasting service, among others.
Media Matters reported that “Resistance News” had served as an alternative outlet for Infowars in light of YouTube terminating “TheAlexJonesChannel” and related accounts last August. “TheAlexJonesChannel” amassed more than 2.4 million subscribers prior to being shut down last summer, while “Resistance News” had garnered hardly 64,000 as of Tuesday morning, the report said.
“Resistance News exclusively posts Infowars content, and Infowars.com articles embed videos hosted by the channel,” the report noted.
Mr. Jones said that the account was operated by a fan who shared segments obtained both directly and indirectly from his Infowars site.
“He had actually given us his email, so we would email him certain things we want uploaded, but he would just grab stuff off our site and upload them,” Mr. Jones told The Times. “So it’s just next level censorship where somebody else has a site for four years and then Media Matters reports on it, distorts what I actually said and then has it removed based on a lie.”
Prior to being terminated, among the more recent videos uploaded to the “Resistance News” channel was a recent video of Mr. Jones discussing the anti-Islamic massacre last week that killed 50 people in New Zealand, Media Matters noted in its report, titled: “Alex Jones has a secondary YouTube channel where he claims the New Zealand mosque shootings were a false flag.”
“I came out and I said, ‘I don’t know if this is a false flag,’ but I don’t know how he got these illegal guns,” Mr. Jones said in a clip referenced by Media Matters.
Mr. Jones previously came under fire for similarly questioning whether the mass-shooting at 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut was a “false flag” attack, and he once said he thought there was a “90 percent chance” that the 2018 massacre at Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School in Florida was a “deep state false flag operation.” He has since clarified that he believes both massacres occurred.
Mr. Jones is currently being sued by lawyers representing the relatives of several children slain at Sandy Hook.