Facebook suspends US conspiracy theorist Alex Jones – Trending Stuff

InfoWars owner found to have violated social networks community standards

Facebook suspends US conspiracy theorist Alex Jones – Trending Stuff

Alex Jones, the American conspiracy theorist who runs the InfoWars website, has been suspended from Facebook for bullying and hate speech.

The suspension will last for 30 days, and affects only Joness personal account on the social network, not the main InfoWars account. His profile will continue to be published, but he will not be not be able to post content until the suspension elapses.

A Facebook spokesperson told the Guardian Jones was found to have violated its community standards.

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], the spokesperson said.

We remove content that violates our standards as soon as were aware of it. In this case, we received reports related to four different videos on the pages that InfoWars and Alex Jones maintain on Facebook. We reviewed the content against our community standards and determined that it violates. All four videos have been removed from Facebook.

The suspension means Jones will not be able to post content to pages for which he is a page admin. As the suspension applies only to Jones personally, the channel bearing his name on Facebook will remain active, as will InfoWars itself, which has several page administrators. The intention is to prevent individuals from working around the ban by using multiple pages to violate policy.

According to a Facebook source, Jones had previously been warned that he had repeatedly violated the companys policies, and told that the next time he did so he would be suspended for 30 days.

Facebook has previously been accused of light-touch moderation for high-profile accounts, even if they seem to be repeatedly violating policies. Earlier this month, Channel 4 revealed, through undercover filming, that some accounts, including those of far-right icons such as Tommy Robinson and Britain First, were marked as shielded and prevented from deletion even when normal users would have faced action.

The company had faced calls to take down InfoWars, which is infamous for promoting the conspiracy theory that the Sandy Hook school shooting never happened, and that grieving parents were crisis actors trying to drive an anti-gun agenda.

Facebooks head of news feed has previously argued that just being false does not violate community standards, and a company spokesperson later added that we just dont think banning pages for sharing conspiracy theories or false news is the right way to go.

Earlier this week, YouTube removed four videos from the InfoWars channel understood to be the same content that led to the Facebook action and issued a strike against InfoWars for its conduct. It was the second such strike the channel had received, but although YouTube officially bans accounts when they receive three strikes, the strikes time out after 90 days. Additionally, the channel bundles multiple violations into individual strikes, protecting Jones from a potential ban.

Accounts that are subject to a content strike are not able to stream live on YouTube until the strike expires, but Jones is still a regular presence on the site: he is simply hosting his livestreams on other channels, donated by friends and supporters, forcing YouTube to ban those streams as it finds them.

Earlier this week, Jones broadcast a rant against Robert Mueller, the US special counsel investigating Donald Trumps connections to Russia, fantasising about shooting him and accusing him without evidence of paedophilia. Its not a joke. Its not a game. Its the real world. Politically. Youre going to get it, or Im going to die trying, bitch. Get ready. Were going to bang heads, Jones said, miming firing a gun repeatedly.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us