On Monday, in an unprecedented escalation of Internet censorship, YouTube announced on its website that it had permanently terminated Alex Jones’ InfoWars channel for “violating its community standards” which included hate speech and promoting violence. The total removal of Jones’ content has come after several previous moves by leftist Tech Giants – including Facebook and Spotify – to restrict and destroy InfoWars.
InfoWars boasted more than 2.4 million subscribers before it was removed. It is known as a “conspiracy-theorist” channel by establishment outlets and is branded by many corporate news organizations as a chief purveyor of “fake news.”
The Alex Jones Channel has been permanently DELETED by YouTube.
This is a coordinated PURGE.
This is political censorship. pic.twitter.com/gyYiSSYFwI
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) August 6, 2018
Wikileaks also posted to their Twitter regarding the InfoWars ban, stating “the ability of Facebook to censor rivial publishers is a global anti-trust problem, which along with San Francisco cultural imperialism, reduces political diversity.”
The empire strikes back: Apple, Spotify, Facebook and Google/Youtube all purge Infowars/Alex Jones. Yes, Infowars has frequent nonsense, but also a state power critique. Which publisher in the world with millions of subscribers is next to be wiped out for cultural transgression? https://t.co/XAEQWr58hw
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 6, 2018
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
On July 24, the so-called “conspiracy channel” had four videos removed and received a strike from YouTube for allegedly violating its community standards, citing “hate speech” against Muslims and transgender people and “child endangerment” after showing footage of a child being shoved to the ground, according to sources. InfoWars was not allowed to post a livestream for 30 days.
Later in a statement, YouTube issued what could be interpreted as a clear warning that more censorship was to follow. “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.” YouTube’s move is only the latest in a series of coordinated attacks against the InfoWars company.
Apple confirmed that it had removed four out of five of the InfoWars podcasts. Facebook shortly followed, eliminating four pages that were run by InfoWars. Spotify has also banned Jones’ podcast. InfoWars, with millions of followers across the county, is arguably one of the most popular news organizations among the extremist right-wing. Some owe the success of Donald Trump’s election to Jones’ broadcasting and reporting. Removing their YouTube channel sets a dangerous new precedent for the existence of other right-wing content, and it’s a move that could dramatically reduce InfoWars’ influence and following.
Many fear that this could be yet another attempt by the corporate establishment to set parameters not on “fake news,” but on acceptable thoughts. According to WikiLeaks, now more publishers with millions of followers could be eradicated in an instant for the sin of cultural transgression.
This is a somewhat confusing shift in rhetoric, considering that in July Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated he would not ban a site like InfoWars when regarding the issue of fake news. Twitter accounts belonging to Alex Jones and InfoWars remain online. Periscope, owned by Twitter, has also left Jones’ videos posted. InfoWars content has yet to violate their code of conduct, a Twitter official confirmed in a statement to CNBC. A LinkedIn account run by InfoWars was also active.
The Real Reason Apple, Facebook, Spotify, And YouTube Banned Infowars pic.twitter.com/8d1Kag6Qay
— Alex Jones (@RealAlexJones) August 6, 2018
The official InfoWars website also remains active – for now.
Adam Glasier is a Lead Contributor and Breaking News Correspondent for theDailyLead.