Variety reported Friday morning that Facebook has temporarily banned InfoWars founder Alex Jones from the social networking site. Jones is an “alt-right conspiracy theorist,” who makes salacious videos for his company InfoWars. Facebook claims that Jones violated the site’s policies against hate speech and bullying and have therefore decided to suspend him for 30 days.
After receiving several reports about a handful of his Infowars videos, Facebook reviewed them and then removed them from his Facebook page.
YouTube also recently removed a few of Jones’ videos for similar conduct violations. In addition, YouTube suspended Jones from live-streaming on the site for a period of 90 days.
The four videos that Facebook removed on the grounds of either hate speech or bullying centered around racial and religious minorities and the LGBTQ community. In two of his videos, Jones claimed that Muslims are attempting to “take over” Europe. The third video was titled “How To Prevent Liberalism” and showed a boy being pushed onto the ground by an adult. In the last one, Jones referred to the creators of an animated show about drag queens as Satanists.
Facebook claims that they notified Jones about his violation multiple times before they decided to suspend him. The social networking platform released a statement on the matter, saying, “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).”
Jones will be unable to post any new content on his Facebook page for 30 days, but the page will still remain active and accessible to viewers and fans.
A Facebook spokesperson noted, according to The Guardian, “We remove content that violates our standards as soon as we’re 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.”
Facebook has previously been criticized for not banning or suspending Jones from the site when he referred to the Sandy Hook massacre as a hoax, claiming that no children actually died and that the parents were simply crisis actors. At the time, however, Facebook said that lying or creating false conspiracy theories was not in direct violation of the company’s community standards. “We just don’t think banning pages for sharing conspiracy theories or false news is the right way to go,” the company said.