NEW YORK – Facebook Inc. and YouTube pulled Alex Jones from their services on Monday after concluding the conspiracy theorist’s posts violated their policies. The moves follow similar action by Apple Inc. and Spotify Technology SA.
Facebook said it removed four pages belonging to Jones for repeatedly posting content in recent days that breaks community standards on hate speech, bullying and glorifying violence.
“All users agree to comply with our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines when they sign up to use YouTube,” a spokesperson for Google’s video site wrote in an email. “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.”
Technology companies have been under pressure to remove Jones for some time. On his show, InfoWars, he peddles conspiracy theories, ranging from claiming the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in 2012 was staged by the government to stating the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack was an “inside job.”
“Facebook caved here because Apple decided to enforce their own Terms,” activist group Sleeping Giants tweeted on Monday. “Moving forward, we all need more clarity on what their rules are and how they intend to enforce them. This should have been done long ago, not because another company provided them cover.”
Twitter had not removed Jones or InfoWars from its service, as of Monday afternoon New York time. Bloomberg LP produces TicToc, a global breaking news network for the Twitter service.
“We’ve been banned completely on Facebook, Apple and Spotify,” Jones tweeted on Monday. “What conservative news outlet will be next?” He directed followers to the InfoWars website, where a story referred to the bans as a “coordinated communist-style crackdown.”
Jones is currently embroiled in several lawsuits with families of those killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting. In a defamation suit filed in Connecticut Superior Court in late May, the families said Jones promotes conspiracies to drive traffic to his website and subsequently sell products to his followers.
“They deliberately stoke social anxiety and political discord in their listeners, because distrust in government and cultural tribalism motivate those listeners to buy their products,” the families said in the complaint. “Jones exploits his audience by selling them products in line with the paranoid worldview he promotes.”
Jones did not respond to a request for comment on Monday. He previously claimed he was being defamed by the Sandy Hook parents.
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