YouTube yanked a video featuring right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from its platform Friday over a comment the controversial Infowars publisher made about Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.
Mr. Jones has been prohibited from uploading his own content to YouTube for more than two years, although he has side-stepped that soft ban in part by appearing on channels operated by other users.
He recently spoke for hours with internet personality Tim Pool, who posted a video of their discussion to his YouTube channel Thursday before it was removed from the platform shortly afterward.
YouTube said the video was found to have violated its rules because of a remark Mr. Jones made about Mr. Gates — a frequent subject of the fringe theories he promotes — and wanting people killed.
Mr. Jones, meanwhile, claimed his comment was misinterpreted and argued Mr. Pool was “stampeded” by YouTube.
The remark occurred during part of the conversation where Mr. Jones claimed that Mr. Gates wants to de-populate the planet and establish “death panels for old people” to determine who lives and dies.
“I just think there should be a firing squad,” Mr. Jones seemed to say during the segment. “I agree with Bill Gates.”
YouTube determined the remark constituted a violent threat and accordingly pulled the video, a spokesperson for the company confirmed.
“We take threats of violence seriously, and have removed this video for violating our policies on harassment,” YouTube spokesperson Alex Joseph told The Washington Times.
“Creators are responsible for all of the content on their channel, including what is said or done by those they invite to appear on their channel,” said the YouTube spokesperson.
Mr. Pool, whose YouTube video often receive tens to hundreds of thousands of views, acknowledged in a social media posting that Mr. Jones broke the platform’s rules with the remark.
“Youtube [sic] has taken down our podcast with Alex Jones for violating community guidelines, which he did,” Mr. Pool said on Twitter.
Mr. Jones denied wrongdoing and said his remarks were misheard. “I would never say offensively kill somebody. I never call for violence. That’s illegal,” Mr. Jones said in a video Friday.
YouTube cracked down on Mr. Jones in 2018 by terminating his account on the video service amid other internet companies, including Facebook and Twitter, among others, taking similar action.
Mr. Jones has managed to push conspiracy theories on YouTube despite its actions by appearing on programs like podcasts conducted by Mr. Pool, among others.
Indeed, podcast host Joe Rogan interviewed Mr. Jones on his show last month and subsequently uploaded it to his YouTube channel. That video has been viewed more than 13 million times since Oct. 27.
Mr. Jones, 46, has gained notoriety for promoting conspiracy theories on his website and shows over the years about tragedies including the Sandy Hook school shooting and Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
More than 2.2 million YouTube accounts subscribed to “The Alex Jones Show” channel before it was taken down in 2018. More than 836,000 accounts currently subscribe to Mr. Pool’s channel, “Timcast IRL.”
• Andrew Blake can be reached at email@example.com.
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