While Apple has drawn attention for banning InfoWars founder Alex Jones from its platform Monday for “hate speech,” tech giants Facebook and YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, made the same move on the same day.
Apple said Monday it had removed five of six InfoWars podcasts, including “The Alex Jones Show,” BuzzFeed News reported.
Facebook removed four pages controlled by Jones, explaining, in part, the ban was for “using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies.”
YouTube said Jones account, the “Alex Jones Channel,” has been “terminated for violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines.”
Google, CNBC reported, had previously declined to comment on Jones’ standing but said in a statement: “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 Gateway Pundit blog, which noted the convergence of tech giants banning Infowars, said it found in an analysis that Facebook has eliminated 93 percent of traffic to top conservative websites since the 2016 presidential election.
Twitter, meanwhile, effectively has admitted shadowbanning and censoring conservative lawmakers publishers.
Jones, known for controversial claims, including that the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax, also has been banned from Spotify.
But CNBC noted Apple took down entire libraries of InfoWars podcasts rather than a select few episodes.
“Apple does not tolerate hate speech,” a company spokesman said, “and we have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users.”
Paul Joseph Watson, who writes regularly for InfoWars, tweeted a response to the bans.
“Whether you love or loathe Infowars, this now confirms that Big Tech is working with legacy media to silence independent media,” he wrote. “In places like Russia, the government shuts down the press, in America, CNN, Apple and Facebook fulfil (sic) that role.”
One of the responses to Watson’s tweet, from a Kevin A. Reilly, typified Jones’ detractors, who insist the moves by the tech giants don’t amount to media censorship.
“Infowars is not ‘press’ & Alex Jones is not a journalist,” Reilly wrote. “He’s a flame throwing conspiracy theorist who has hurt people. He doesnt deserve a platform because he doesnt provide a service. He wants to watch the world burn. That has never & will never be protected in this country.”
However, Breitbart News noted Facebook removed Jones for using “dehumanizing language” and “glorifying violence” rather than “false news.” And yet infamous anti-Semite Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan remains on the platform along with the New Black Panther Party and the progressive news outlet The Young Turks, whose founder has denied the historicity of the Armenian Holocaust.
CNN reported Monday that six more families of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in 2012 have filed suit against Jones and six related companies for defamation.
The complaint notes “The Alex Jones Show” is broadcast on more than 60 radio stations and his YouTube channel has more than 2.3 million subscribers.
It charges Jones and his companies “concoct elaborate and false paranoia-tinged conspiracy theories because it moves product and they make money.”
“Not because they truly believe what they are saying, but rather because it increases profits.”