YouTube, Facebook, and Apple Censor Infowars
On Monday, August 6th, 2018, YouTube deleted the Alex Jones Channel for allegedly violating its community guidelines, in yet another move from tech giants that are dramatically limiting the reach of his Infowars show which had about 2.4 million followers. Jones had recently also been banned by Apple, Spotify, and Facebook. Many social media platforms have come under pressure to take some action against Jones after he repeatedly posted videos which allegedly contained hate speech and child endangerment.
Late Sunday night, Apple removed the majority of podcasts published by Jones’s website Infowars from iTunes and its applications (apps). In a statement to the Washington Post, the company stated: “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,”. “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.”
In late July 2018, Jones received a “strike” from the YouTube channel after posting videos that contained hate speech against Muslim and transgender people and footage of a child being shoved to the ground. Jones was banned from using the channel for live broadcasts for 90 days, however, he continued to live stream on other social media platforms which lead to YouTube terminating his account. YouTube issued a statement indicating that “Jones had violated its terms of service and community guidelines. 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.”
YouTube’s ban represents yet another move by tech platforms to censor Jones and other conspiracy theorists. In a series of text messages to The Washington Post, Jones called the decisions to remove him from the social media platforms “a counter-strike against the global awakening”. He accused both Apple and Google of colluding with the Chinese government, mainstream news organizations, the Democratic Party and establishment elements of the Republican Party to misrepresent his views and deprive him of platforms that allow him to spread his messages.
“We’ve seen a giant yellow journalism campaign with thousands and thousands of articles for weeks, for months misrepresenting what I’ve said and done to set the precedent to de-platform me before Big Tech and the Democratic Party as well as some Republican establishment types move against the First Amendment in this country as we know it,” he said. “You’re on the wrong side of history mainstream media,” Jones said in a text message to The Post. “You sold the country out, and now you’re going to pay for it.”
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