Facebook has suspended InfoWars host Alex Jones for 30 days, citing a violation of their community standards on “bullying” and “hate speech.” The suspension came just days after company executives claimed that they would not remove Jones from the platform in an effort to balance “free expression and safety.”
“Our Community Standards make it clear that we prohibit content that encourages physical harm [bullying], or attacks someone based on their religious affiliation or gender identity [hate speech],” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement about Jones’ suspension.
In this latest case, Facebook has removed four videos from both InfoWars and Alex Jones’s public page, which a combined total over 2.5 million followers, while the suspension means page administrators will be unable to post content for the next 30 days. Confusingly, the suspension is only of Alex Jones himself, meaning InfoWars employees can still post content on his page and continue to do so as of this article.
But the suspension comes just several days after Facebook executives defended InfoWars and Alex Jones’ place on the platform at a presentation when critics questioned why the social media Masters of the Universe allow InfoWars and Fox News on its site at all. According to Deadline:
Facebook Product VP Fidji Simo echoed CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s careful language about the site’s handling of InfoWars, saying the social media site attempts to find the balance between free expression and safety of its 2 billion users.
“What we’re trying to do is make it so that, if you are saying something that is untrue, you’re allowed to say it, as long as you an authentic person,” Simo said. “We try to make it so that it doesn’t get much distribution.”
The suspension comes a day after YouTube suspended live broadcasts from Jones’s InfoWars channel, claiming they had violated the service’s policies against hate speech and graphic content.
“We apply our policies consistently according to the content in the videos, regardless of the speaker or the channel,” a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement Wednesday. “We also have a clear three strikes policy and we terminate channels when they receive three strikes in three months.”
Left-wing outlets such as have stepped up efforts to censor the channel from social media in recent months on the grounds that it spreads conspiracy theories and “fake news.”
Earlier this month, CNN’s ‘Senior Media Reporter’ Oliver Darcy actively lobbied Facebook to remove InfoWars from its platform, claiming that the site is “notorious for spreading demonstrably false information and conspiracy theories on a host of issues.”
According to Mashable, “several pages managed by Jones are said to be close to the point of being unpublished by the social network given his repeated violations of community standards.”