Facebook removes United States conspiracy theorist's pages for hate speech

The Alex Jones Channel is InfoWars most subscribed on YouTube.                  Screenshot Joan E. Solsman  CNET

The Alex Jones Channel is InfoWars most subscribed on YouTube. Screenshot Joan E. Solsman CNET

Spotify, the streaming music online service, had already removed a number of Jones' podcasts last week, accusing them of breaking its own hate-speech rules.

Jones reacted Monday to the moves, saying on his Twitter account, "We've been completely banned by Facebook, Apple & Spotify". It has suggested that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax, and that the September 11 terrorist attacks were an inside job orchestrated by the USA government.

He has also promoted a theory that the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre was faked by left-wing forces to promote gun control. Among other things, he said the Sandy Hook Elementary School murders were staged, and he said survivors of the Parkland, Florida high school shooting were actors. Jones has counter-sued, demanding in turn that they pay his court costs.

Representatives for neither YouTube nor Infowars immediately responded to messages seeking comment. Last month, Jones also posted a video accusing special counsel and former FBI Director Robert Mueller of covering up pedophilia crimes.

"The big issue here is: This is illegal", Jones said.

Facebook on Monday announced that it had unpublished four pages belonging to Alex Jones for repeatedly violating the company's standards with inflammatory posts about transgender people, Muslims and immigrants, among other infractions. The lawusit was filed in Travis County, Texas, where Jones' media company is based.

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Well known for pushing conspiracy theories, Infowars has not only claimed that Sandy Hook was a hoax, but promoted a theory that the moon landings were "fake" and that the 9/11 attacks were a so-called "false flag" (a covert government operation created to deceive citizens). While Jones said he now believes the shooting was not a hoax, he said his earlier claims were protected under USA free speech laws. He is seeking to have the cases dismissed.

Jones, known for his animated style, has been criticized in the media for discussing controversial, sometimes unverified, claims on his show. During his presidential campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump granted a video interview to InfoWars. InfoWars podcasts through its advertisements of ineffective wellness supplements and survivalism products geared towards the tin-foil hat community bring in about $18 million a year for Jones.

In response, Jones tweeted on Monday that he's considering filing a lawsuit against the companies over the alleged censorship.

Facebook took down Jones's personal profile for 30 days and removed four videos it said violated the social media company's community standards.

It said in a statement: "We take reports of hate content seriously". While Apple only provided a indexing platform for the podcasts and did not host the shows itself, such a move will severely limit the reach of the InfoWars programs.

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