Tech giants Facebook, Apple and YouTube on Monday launched a major offensive against controversial conservative host Alex Jones. Apple pulled the plug on five of Jones’ podcasts, while Facebook removed four pages controlled by Jones. YouTube, which acted several hours after Facebook and Apple, removed Jones’ channel entirely.
“So the censorship continues and it escalates,” InfoWars show host David Knight said Monday, according to USA Today. “RealNews with David Knight” was the only Jones-related show left standing by Apple.
YouTube removed The Alex Jones Channel, which still appears in search results, but now carries this stark message: “This account has been terminated for violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines.”
A statement from Google, which operates YouTube, explained the action, which followed the removal of four videos last month.
“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,” the statement said.
Below is my official statement on Facebook, Apple and Spotify removing "The Alex Jones Show" and other InfoWars content from their platforms. pic.twitter.com/LJznYL1598
— Brent Bozell (@BrentBozell) August 6, 2018
Apple on Monday said it had removed five out of six podcasts, including “The Alex Jones Show,” CNBC reported.
“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,” Apple said in a statement.
“Podcasts that violate these guidelines are removed from our directory making them no longer searchable or available for download or streaming,” Apple’s statement said. “We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions.”
Some saw the action as the heavy hand of censorship, while others thought Jones had earned his punishment.
Infowars says it has been banned by Facebook for unspecified 'hate speech'. Regardless of the facts in this case, the ability of Facebook to censor rivial publishers is a global anti-trust problem, which along with San Francisco cultural imperialism, reduces political diversity. https://t.co/xb5oY2JHzy
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 6, 2018
Finally, a little courage shown by our tech titans. There is still a such thing as objective truth and it’s good to see companies step up when people so flagrantly propagate falsehoods. https://t.co/2n82VVSB9q
— Matt McMurray (@Matt_McMurray_) August 6, 2018
The freedom of speech protects popular and unpopular speech. Apple has no right to decide what can or cannot be said on a podcast. In my opinion people who do not like Alex Jones or Infowars don't have to listen or download the podcast. #Apple #InfoWars
— 🇺🇸🇺🇸🗽Eagle Eye 🗽🇺🇸🇺🇸 (@Liberty070476) August 6, 2018
Tomorrow, Alex Jones will scream about his ban from iTunes being political.
There are plenty of conservative & liberal podcasts that don’t harass the parents of children killed at Sandy Hook or Las Vegas shooting victims.
This was not about right or left, but right and wrong.
— Sleeping Giants (@slpng_giants) August 6, 2018
Facebook, which last month removed videos from four of Jones’ pages and suspended his personal page for 30 days, on Monday announced it had removed the Alex Jones Channel Page, the Alex Jones Page, the InfoWars Page and the Infowars Nightly News Page.
“Upon review, we have taken it down for glorifying violence … and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies,” said Facebook, according to CNN.
Facebook said that the issue of “fake news” was not reflected in its actions.
“All four pages have been unpublished for repeated violations of Community Standards and accumulating too many strikes,” the company said.
“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,” Facebook said.
Last week, Spotify removed episodes of “The Alex Jones Show” podcast for violating its hate content policy.
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