This week has not started well for far right activist and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, with his podcasts being removed from Apple and Spotify this morning. This has since been followed up by a number of his Facebook pages being unpublished from the social media platform as well.
As such, it’s only Jones’ InfoWars video platforms that remain intact for now, and of course his website where he likes to hawk health supplements.
The reason why his podcasts and pages were brought into question was due to repeatedly violating the various platforms’ hate speech policies.
Facebook detailed its decision, as well as unpacked the finer points of its community standards in an official statement on the status of the pages.
The pages in question are the Alex Jones Channel Page, the Alex Jones Page, the InfoWars Page and the Infowars Nightly News Page, with each page now featuring the message, “Sorry, this content isn’t available right now.”
Facebook explains that the pages were not pulled as a result of spreading fake news or falsified stories, as has been labelled against them in the past, but rather as they featured posts which glorified violence and espoused the dehumanisation of specific race groups and religious organisations.
“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’s statement said.
Whether or not the social media company will be taking as strong a stance on other far right activist pages remains to be seen.
Currently the pages are unpublished, which means Alex Jones or his representatives have the ability to appeal the process. Should no appeal happen, or their appeal be unsuccessful, the pages will be removed completely from Facebook.
Is this the start of something significant against Alex Jones and similar organisations? One can hope so.