It’s been a rough day for Alex Jones and InfoWars. Hot on the heels of bans from Apple and Facebook, the conspiracy theory media empire has been banned on YouTube. It isn’t yet clear if the video platform’s ban is permanent, but it appears that all InfoWars videos have been deleted.
If you attempt to visit InfoWars videos on YouTube you’ll be greeted with the message, “This video is no longer available because the YouTube account associated with this video has been terminated.” Clips of Alex Jones saying unhinged things can still be found on the site if they were posted by other news organisations.
Apple got the ball rolling when it pulled all of Alex Jones’ podcasts from Apple’s platforms yesterday. Facebook followed up with a pseudo-ban that it’s referred to as “unpublishing”. Facebook has said InfoWars can appeal the decision and become reinstated.
YouTube has not directly addressed the ban on InfoWars, but released a generic statement to Gizmodo today about its community guidelines.
“All users agree to comply with our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines when they sign up to use YouTube. 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 told Gizmodo over email.
Facebook and Apple both cited “hate speech” when asked about their own decisions to ban InfoWars channels and pages.
InfoWars has been in hot water recently over Jones’ claims that the Sandy Hook massacre that killed six adults and 20 children was completely fake. Jones said that the shooting was staged by the US government, which has led to family members of those killed being harassed. There are currently three defamation lawsuits against Jones by family members of the victims, though Jones has counter-sued for legal fees.
Here's the 2014 video where Alex Jones directly calls the Sandy Hook massacre a hoax "with actors" pic.twitter.com/5IrCkZXBWC
— Matt Novak (@paleofuture) April 19, 2018
Twitter is in an extremely awkward position as the lone large social media company that still hosts Alex Jones. Twitter, long a hub for neo-Nazis, seems as though it would be hesitant to ban Jones from the site, but never say never.
Gizmodo reached out to YouTube to ask about any other bans that may be on the horizon and to confirm if the InfoWars ban in permanent, but had not heard back at time of writing.