Problems for Alex Jones and Infowars multiplied Monday as Facebook announced it had “unpublished” four pages run by the conspiracy theorist and radio host, effectively removing him from that platform.
The announcement comes just as Apple announced it had removed the entire library of five out of six Infowars’ podcasts, saying the video and audio files had violated its policy against hate speech. Facebook cited the same reasons.
“We have taken it down for glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies,” Facebook said in a statement. “All four Pages have been unpublished for repeated violations of Community Standards and accumulating too many strikes.”
The Alex Jones Channel Page, the Alex Jones Page, the InfoWars Page, and the Infowars Nightly News Page are all no longer viewable on Facebook. Jones himself has been blocked from the platform for 30-days, says the company (though that’s largely a symbolic ban, as other employees could post on Jones’ behalf).
Infowars decried the action as censorship.
“What we are witnessing is an ideological purge intended to re-define the very concept of free speech,” the site said in a post. “If free speech does not include controversial/unpopular/offensive speech, it doesn’t exist. A society in which free speech doesn’t exist is doomed to collapse into authoritarianism. The argument that Facebook and other social media giants are ‘private companies’ and can do what they like is also a complete misnomer.”
Facebook (FB) noted the additional concern about Infowars supplied ‘fake news,’ but said Monday’s actions were unrelated to those allegations.
“While much of the discussion around Infowars has been related to false news, which is a serious issue that we are working to address by demoting links marked wrong by fact checkers and suggesting additional content, none of the violations that spurred today’s removals were related to this,” the social network said.