Technology

Facebook and YouTube aren’t even trying to enforce the Alex Jones ban

After Alex Jones effectively banned the internet – or at least from his main distribution channels – last August, it seemed like we'd finally get rid of his half-cooked conspiracy theories. Or, that's what we thought anyway.

After several "strikes" for content violating its terms of service, YouTube permanently removed Alex Jones' InfoWars channel last October. There are only thousands of hours of archived content, over 2.5 million subscribers and ranting rants from the Internet's most salacious villain – now that Martin Shkreli has come out of the public eye while appealing a seven-year prison sentence, anyway.

Jones was quick to feel the heat of the other major players in the Internet, including Apple Facebook, Twitter, Spotify and a handful of others. Both banned Jones and InfoWars permanently from their respective platforms, citing reasons ranging from simple service-level violations to active incitement to violence or the promotion of hate speech. But whatever their actions against him, Jones resists, just like a digital cockroach.

On YouTube, at any given time, there are half a dozen (or more) feeds of Jones' daily broadcasts on InfoWars. Each of them is run simultaneously, closely mirroring the contents of the InfoWars home page – although some are on a slight delay.

On Facebook, it took less than 60 seconds to find a handful of InfoWars feeds, including several pages that do not hide their purpose, proudly claiming that they exist to advance the Jones agenda by through live and archived content from InfoWars.

The tech titans do not seem to be able to contain the InfoWars fire. They cut the distribution, at least they thought so, but few platforms seem motivated to enforce their own rules regarding prohibited content and intentional circumvention of these bans.

We contacted several accounts on each platform, hoping to talk to the owners of these pages. Only one answered, giving us a simple – "No comment, fuck you."

A YouTube spokesperson told TNW :

All users agree to abide by our Terms of Use and Community Guidelines when subscribing to YouTube. We review the reported content, delete it when it violates our instructions and apply a strike to the account. When users violate these practices repeatedly, we close their accounts.

Hob. Alex Jones, however, has been subject to a ban of this nature. On July 24, 2018 Alex Jones received a strike for four videos that, according to YouTube moderators, violated the policies of the Children's Endangerment Platform and Hate Speech – The Sandy Plot Theory InfoWars' hook according to which no child was injured and that the event was mistreated. a false flag using crisis actors, among others. It has lost the ability to stream content for 90 days.

After a slap on the wrist in July, it was banned for good in August after YouTube became aware of Jones' attempt to circumvent the ban by promoting InfoWars content on D & # 020; Other YouTube channels.

We now seem to be in a stalemate, a rehearsal of the Jones saga that has turned its suspension into a permanent group. Only this time, there is no significant recourse for YouTube.

Losing an account with thousands of hours of archived content and a subscriber base of over 2.5 million subscribers is a blow to content distribution. Losing a channel that cooperates with the InfoWars brand, does not have any real subscriber base and could just as well come up tomorrow with a different URL, hardly records like a hiccup.

Regarding Facebook, we were told (I paraphrase a longer conversation) that the accounts broadcasting InfoWars 'programming did not constitute a rule violation, since the action was taken on Jones' accounts , in particular. The explanation was strangely similar to that of a society willing to act against a public figure after the general outcry, but less concerned with controlling smaller and less notable accounts publishing the same content.

This lets Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other people play the Internet in a great way, pounding new accounts until the problem disappears or the platforms are no longer interested. to play. And we could reach that point.

Many accounts operate in the clear. They do not even try to hide their actions while openly making fun of the lack of implementation activities of the platform on which it is hosted. Facebook, in particular, seems to have abandoned the idea of ​​applying its rules on merit rather than as a response to public outrage.

If horror movies have taught me anything, you'll always be sure that the villain does not come back from the dead for a last warning.

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