YouTube on Monday said it had banned Alex Jones’s Infowars channel, following similar actions taken against the controversial right-wing conspiracy theorist by other major U.S. technology companies.
After the channel violated YouTube's policies against child endangerment and hate speech, Jones was banned for trying to circumvent the site's enforcement measures, according to a source familiar with the company’s decision. The source said Jones received a 90-day moratorium on livestreaming for violating its policies and that he then tried to promote his flagship radio show on other YouTube pages, prompting a permanent ban.
“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 when asked for comment.
Facebook had faced criticism and scrutiny for allowing Jones to remain on the site, despite his promotion of conspiracy theories such as that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was staged and that survivors of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting were “crisis actors.”
Spotify booted Jones’s podcast from its platform last week, and Apple did the same on Sunday. Facebook followed suit on Monday, kicking Jones off despite remarks by Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley — Facebook 'too late' curbing climate falsities Facebook draws lawmaker scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens How social media fuels U.S. political polarization — what to do about it MORE that appeared to defend Jones and other conspiracy theorists who are active on the social media platform.
“I’m Jewish, and there’s a set of people who deny that the Holocaust happened,” Zuckerberg said in an interview with Recode. “I find that deeply offensive. But at the end of the day, I don’t believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong.”
Zuckerberg later clarified his remarks, saying he doesn’t defend Holocaust deniers.