YouTube has taken down a channel called Resistance News that was being used to promote content by Alex Jones and his media company InfoWars, which were banned from the platform last year, The Verge reported Tuesday. The move comes amid renewed scrutiny of extremist content on YouTube following the massacre in New Zealand last week.
Media Matters reported early Tuesday that the Resistance News channel was being used by Jones and InforWars to circumvent the YouTube ban, which was levied last August. The channel featured live streams of Jones’ shows, including one in which the Christchurch attacks were called a “false flag,” with Jones himself describing the accused shooter as an “intelligence agent cutout.”
“When users violate these policies repeatedly, like our policies against hate speech and harassment or our terms prohibiting circumvention of our enforcement measures, we terminate their accounts,” YouTube said in a statement, as quoted by The Verge.
The company added that it will take down other channels that act to circumvent the ban.
The Resistance News channel had been on YouTube since 2015, amassing a total of 64,000 subscribers, per The Verge.
Jones, in August, was banned from several tech platforms, including Apple, Spotify, and Facebook. The stated reasons were different, but most dealt with Jones’ penchant for spreading news that isn’t true, such as the conspiracy theory that the Sandy Hook school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012 was, in fact, a “false flag.” Others companies have accused Jones of violating harassment guidelines.
YouTube, which is owned by Google, followed in removing Jones’ channel later in August. Jones and InfoWars were permanently banned from Twitter in September for violating the platform’s rules about abusive behavior, per CNBC. Twitter’s video-streaming platform Periscope also banned Jones around the same time.
— The Verge (@verge) March 19, 2019
Even with the bans, Jones has not completely disappeared from these platforms, as others are able to post videos of him. A recent appearance by Jones on Joe Rogan’s podcast received millions of views on YouTube, and those not connected with Jones or his company are free to post video clips, photos, or memes of the host on Twitter and other platforms. Tech companies tend to take an unfavorable view of efforts to evade previous bans.
Several families of children who died at Sandy Hook have sued Jones for defamation, with a court ruling in January that Jones and InfoWars must turn over documents to the plaintiffs, per The New York Times.