Aug. 6 (UPI) — Facebook, Apple, Spotify and YouTube have removed content from radio talk show host Alex Jones, who has called the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary shooting a hoax.
Google’s YouTube removed Jones’ InfoWars channel Monday after taking other action in previous months. The move followed similar decisions by Apple and Spotify, which removed Jones’ podcasts shortly before Facebook removed Jones’ fan page and the one for his radio show InfoWars on Monday.
“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,” a YouTube representative told The Hill.
YouTube previously banned livestream videos from Jones for three months that contained hate speech against Muslims and transgender people and another video that included an instance of child endangerment late last month. He was also flagged for a violation earlier this year for posting a video in which he claimed Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg was a “crisis actor.”
Facebook said in a statement the company removed the pages due to repeated violations of its ethical standards against “hate speech that attacks or dehumanizes others.”
Facebook removed four videos posted by Jones last week for violating hate speech and bullying polices.
“Since then, more content from the same pages has been reported to us — upon review, we have taken it down for glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies,” Facebook said.
The decision comes after two Sandy Hook victims’ families filed suit in April claiming Jones’ right-wing conspiracy theories defamed them by calling the shooting, which killed 26 children and adults, a hoax.
“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.
InfoWars editor-at-large Paul Joseph Watson called the move an attack on free speech and conservative media.
“Facebook has permanently BANNED Infowars,” Watson tweeted. “For unspecified ‘hate speech.’ They didn’t even tell us what the offending posts were. This sets a chilling precedent for free speech. To all other conservative news outlets — you are next. The great censorship purge has truly begun.”
Apple and Spotfiy told BuzzFeed News they also removed content for hate speech violations.
“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. “Podcasts that violate these guidelines are removed from our directory making them no longer searchable or available for download or streaming. We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions.”