After Facebook’s announcement, YouTube said that it too would ban Alex Jones’s channel from its site, after he tried to circumvent his 90-day livestream ban by directing users to his livestreams on other video platforms.
Over the past several days, Apple, YouTube and Spotify have also removed material published by Jones.
In a statement, a YouTube spokesperson said the decision follows prior warnings to Jones about his content.
“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. Among the theories he has promoted is that the September 11, 2001 attacks on NY and Washington were staged by the government. Youtube, Facebook, and Spotify have all removed Texas-based conspiracy radio host Alex Jones from their respective services for violation of their terms of service and community guidelines.
On Monday, Facebook said it “unpublished” pages affiliated with Jones, which means there’s nothing to see on his pages except a takedown notice. Among Infowars’ millions of followers is none other than US President Donald Trump, who appeared on his show in 2015, praising the conspiracy theorist’s reputation and promising “I will not let you down”.
Last week, Facebook suspended Jones, a far-right commentator, for 30 days because he violated the social network’s policy against bullying and hate speech. They say they’ve been harassed by his followers ー at Jones’s urging ー and have been forced to move. Those taken down include War Room and The Alex Jones Show daily podcast.
The bans and deletions come as big tech companies have faced intense scrutiny and criticism over their role in the spread of bogus news stories and the incitement of hatred – and their potential use as tools to manipulate voters and public opinion. Last week, Facebook said it removed four videos from Jones’ pages, and punished him personally, preventing him from acting as a moderator on his pages. The parents of one six-year-old Sandy Hook victim said they’d moved seven times after stalkers repeatedly found out where they were living and began harassing them. At least, that’s what his lawyer told a judge when Jones was embroiled in a custody battle with his ex-wife previous year. He is now being sued by the families of Sandy Hook over allegations of defamation and harassment.
At present, only the InfoWars podcast, “Real News With David Knight”, is still available via Apple’s Podcast app or iTunes.
The cumulative actions represent the largest efforts yet against Jones, a conspiracy theorist who most famously promoted the idea the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school shooting never happened and was staged. Instead, Apple Podcasts is simply a list of links to podcasts hosted on independent servers around the world.