Facebook says Alex Jones’s Mueller threats don’t violate its rules
Facebook on Tuesday said that Infowars founder Alex Jones’s monologue threatening special counsel Robert Mueller is not a violation of its platform rules.
In his rant, Jones accuses Mueller of covering up sex crimes, challenges the special counsel to an imaginary gunfight and pantomimes shooting the former FBI director.
He challenges Mueller to “make the move first, and then it’s going to happen” before pretending to shoot the special counsel.
In the monologue, Jones accused Mueller of molesting children but later walked that back and said Mueller just “controls” the rape of children and did not participate in it.
“I mean, Mueller covered up for a decade for [Jeffrey] Epstein kidnapping kids, flying them on sex planes, some kids as young as seven years old reportedly, with big perverts raping them to frame people,” Jones says in the video, referring to billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who was convicted of sex crimes after being accused of soliciting multiple teenage girls as young as 13.
“He’s even above the pedophiles, though. The word is he doesn’t have sex with kids, he just controls it all.”
“Make the move first, and then it’s going to happen. It’s not a joke. It’s not a game. It’s the real world. Politically. You’re going to get it, or I’m going to die trying, bitch. Get ready,” Jones said.
Despite the violent rhetoric and accusations, Facebook told BuzzFeed that Jones’s video did not violate its community standards because they were not credible statements with the intention of committing violence.
Jones’s Mueller rant shows the difficult position Facebook has when moderating Infowars content. A longtime conspiracy theorist, Jones frames his Mueller comments as Western-themed satire, including music, to cover for the over-the-top language and rhetoric.
The company has said that despite taking down videos and other content pushing hoaxes and banning repeat offenders, Jones’s Infowars account doesn’t qualify for a ban from the platform.
Despite criticism for this stance, Facebook says that hoax stories alone are not violations of its rules.
It’s not clear if Jones’s words could constitute a transmitted threat against Mueller, who is currently leading the special counsel investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign. Threatening a federal official with violence is a class C or D felony, punishable by up to five or 10 years in prison.
Jones has backed a number of conspiracy theories over the years.
The Infowars founder is currently being sued by families of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, after which Jones claimed that the attack was a false-flag operation.