One of the most important things to keep in mind when predicting what may happen to InfoWars is to consider how most people consume media these days. These platforms are so powerful for a reason: the vast majority of Americans use them every single day, and many people use social media as their only source of news. Social media is designed to be habit forming and many thousands of hours of research have been put into making sure these platforms are a daily habit; the question is whether Alex Jones and InfoWars is going to remain a daily habit after the initial Streisand Effect spike.
"Yes, we must take away the kinds of coordinative power they’re able to gain on platforms"
There are a couple other things worth mentioning. First, Jones has been deplatformed before, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when he lost his radio shows. Jones was able to build something of a dedicated, organic audience long before YouTube in part by executive producing and distributing the 9/11 conspiracy theory documentary Loose Change. InfoWars was streaming video on its own website before it was streaming on YouTube. He is nothing if not persistent.Second, the people who will stay on YouTube but won’t follow Jones are not suddenly going to be earnestly consuming the New York Times. Jones became popular on social media because he was vitriolic, and because social media algorithms favor vitriolic, high-velocity content.“Not only did Jones threaten and pantomime shooting Robert Mueller, the reason he did is because he said Mueller’s a ‘demon,’” Carusone said. “If you’re already plugged into the ‘demon’ algorithm on YouTube, there’s plenty of other people spewing demon stuff for you there.”Most importantly, we need to remember that Jones’s banning, and to a lesser extent Milo’s, only became major national news because it fits into a false narrative that Silicon Valley censors only conservatives, which has been posited by Ted Cruz, Congressman Jim Jordan, and, recently, Donald Trump.Deplatforming works “best” when the people being deplatformed don’t have any power to begin with. Nor are we talking about people from marginalized communities who have self-censored or left social media because of far right harassment and hate campaigns (and could, in theory, come back with more proactive moderation by large platforms.)“Alex Jones is not the only person being deplatformed or who has been deranked,” Caplan said. “We need to puncture this myth that it’s only affecting far-right people. Trans rights activists, Black Lives Matter organizers, LGBTQI people have been demonetized or deranked. The reason we’re talking about far-right people is that they have coverage on Fox News and representatives in Congress holding hearings. They already have political power.”
"Alex Jones is not the only person being deplatformed or who has been deranked"