InfoWars Editor Paul Joseph Watson tweeted on Monday that Facebook had “permanently banned” the outlets page for “unspecified” hate speech and described the move as setting a “chilling precedent for free speech”.
Facebook confirmed the banning in a blog post, saying the four InfoWars pages were targeted due to “repeated violations of Community Standards and accumulating too many strikes”. In a statement, Apple said it “does not tolerate hate speech” and said it believes in “representing a wide range of views” so long as people are “respectful” of those with differing opinions.
YouTube quickly followed suit with a statement that said Jones’ account had been “terminated for violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines”. Spotify said it had removed all of Jones’ podcast episodes due to “hate content”.
Twitter has been flooded with reactions to the decisions. Some people were delighted to see the controversial host banned and expressed disappointment that Twitter had not yet moved against InfoWars, RT reports.
— 🐢 bob 📼 (@bobvids) August 6, 2018
Others were less pleased with the decision and said it was nothing more than censorship of conservative and right wing voices, with one user suggesting it amounted to “online apartheid”.
Google, YouTube, Spotify, Facebook all now openly engaged in ONLINE APARTHEID with blatant ban of @RealAlexJones , @PrisonPlanet and #InfoWars. All bans based on "hate speech" which means anything liberals don't want to hear. #Censorship out of control.
— HealthRanger (@HealthRanger) August 6, 2018
Kicking #infowars off social media platforms is censorship and a violation of 1st amendment rights.
— Karen K (@kreativekonnect) August 6, 2018
The empire strikes back: Apple, Spotify, Facebook and Google/Youtube all purge Infowars/Alex Jones. Yes, Infowars has frequent nonsense, but also a state power critique. Which publisher in the world with millions of subscribers is next to be wiped out for cultural transgression? https://t.co/XAEQWr58hw
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 6, 2018
Some also noted the curious way that Facebook, Apple, YouTube and Spotify all decided to ban Jones at exactly the same time, despite the fact that he had been active on their platforms for years. Former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage tweeted that Jones was “the victim today of collusion by the big tech giants”.
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) August 6, 2018
So, remember when Big Tech pretended to not all act in concert with one another? Today they all banned Alex Jones together within hours
— Jack Posobiec ✝️ (@JackPosobiec) August 6, 2018
— OffGuardian (@OffGuardian0) August 6, 2018
President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale even weighed in on the debate, appearing to endorse a suggestion that Facebook should have “a transparent database showing banned accounts” which explains exactly why an account is in violation of its rules.
— Brad Parscale (@parscale) August 6, 2018