Huffington Post editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen suggested Monday that the news industry would criticize Facebook’s decision to unpublish InfoWars as “too little, too late.”
Four Facebook pages operated by InfoWars founder Alex Jones received a permanent ban due to “repeated violations of community standards,” the company announced Monday — following Apple’s lead after the tech giant banned several InfoWars podcasts from iTunes.
As Breitbart News’ Lucas Nolan reported, Facebook deleted the following InfoWars pages from their platform: the Alex Jones Channel Page, the Alex Jones Page, the Infowars Page, and the Infowars Nightly News Page. Facebook laid out its rationale for unpublishing Infowars’ pages in a blog post titled “Enforcing Our Community Standards,” accusing the news outlet of violating the platform’s “hate speech and bullying policies.”
Polgreen’s reaction to the news implied Facebook was too slow to ban the pages. “Facebook finally boots Alex Jones and InfoWars. I suspect this will be received as too little, too late,” she wrote.
Facebook finally boots Alex Jones and InfoWars. I suspect this will be received as too little, too late. https://t.co/g18iCDME4b
— Lydia Polgreen (@lpolgreen) August 6, 2018
The news site’s lead story blared a similar sentiment: “FACEBOOK FINALLY GIVES INFOWARS THE BOOT!” read its top headline.
Facebook says the decision came after it received complaints related to Infowars posts — and its decision was based on the use of “dehumanizing language” to “describe people who are transgender, Muslims, and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies.”
The tech giant insisted that accusations of “fake news” were not a factor in this decision. “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 in a statement.
On Sunday evening, Apple announced they were removing entire catalogs of InfoWars podcasts from iTunes, including the news outlet’s flagship program, the Alex Jones Show.