(Photo courtesy of vox.com)
As with hockey, if there could be a hat trick in online social media, today’s events definitely would be it. And Alex Jones, along with his Infowars, would be the puck.
It all began last night with Apple banning Jones and his program from their social media platform. On Monday morning, Facebook followed suit. They stated he could appeal their decision to “unpublish” him. Shortly after Facebook’s action, YouTube also banned InfoWars. No one is certain if the YouTube ban is permanent, but the InfoWars’ videos have been deleted from their platform.
The reasons being given for the big three companies’ actions against Jones are his repeated use of “hate speech”. They stated he has violated their policies regarding Terms of Service and Community Guidelines, to which he agreed when he signed up to use their services.
InfoWars’ recent legal difficulties most likely were the impetus for being banned. During his broadcasts, Jones has steadfastly maintained the Sandy Hook murders of 20 children and 6 adults were fake. He has said the government staged the shootings, and it was a hoax with actors. Family members of murdered victims claim his wild statements have led to their being harassed. Subsequently, three lawsuits for defamation have been filed against Jones.
It remains to be seen how Twitter, last of the big social media platforms, will deal with this. They have not made any public comment, yet. YouTube and Facebook also need to determine and notify the public if the bans they have imposed will be permanent. Additional information will be published as it is released.