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Alex Jones

Facebook finally dumps Alex Jones — but only for 30 days

“I can clarify that Alex Jones’ profile is currently in a 30-day ban.”

by David Gilbert
29 July 2018, 9:54pm

Reuters

Facebook finally took action Thursday against the far-right conspiracy theorist and Trump-backer Alex Jones, banning the Infowars host from its platform for 30 days and removing four of his videos.

While CNN initially reported that Jones will be banned only if he breaches the platform's rules in the future, a Facebook source, who was not authorized to speak on the record, confirmed to VICE News that the radio host had indeed been banned.

“I can clarify that Alex Jones’ profile is currently in a 30-day ban,” the source said. “The pages maintained by Alex Jones and Infowars have not been unpublished as they haven’t yet met our strike threshold.”

Jones had repeatedly violated Facebook’s rules in the past and had been notified that another breach of those rules would result in a ban — which is what happened Thursday.

The ban comes just days after Facebook was criticized for its decision not to remove a video in which Jones accused special counsel Robert Mueller of covering up sex crimes, before pretending to shoot the former FBI director.

Facebook said that video did not violate its rules, and on Friday the company stood by that decision.

The social media giant has, however, removed four other videos from the Infowars page.

“We received reports related to four different videos on the pages that Infowars and Alex Jones maintain on Facebook,” a company spokesperson said in a statement provided to VICE News. “We reviewed the content against our Community Standards and determined that it violates. All four videos have been removed from Facebook.”

The company did not indicate what videos were removed, simply 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].

The company added that it removes content that violates its standards “as soon as we're aware of it.” However, in this case one of the four videos was initially reported to the company last month but was not removed until late Thursday.

Facebook told CNN it had made a mistake when it initially reviewed the video.

Alex Jones and Infowars did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

READ: Alex Jones wants you to know he’s sorry for his outbursts

Facebook’s ban follows similar action by YouTube, which handed Jones a 90-day ban from live streaming on the platform. But that hasn’t stopped the loudmouth host from broadcasting.

Jones moved to stream via a channel run by Ron Gibson, who is part of Jones’ Free Speech Systems YouTube network. YouTube shut that down, but Gibson just set up a second channel and started streaming there — before YouTube once again shut that down.

YouTube and Facebook have been accused of profiting from content posted by conspiracy theorists such as Jones. Last week Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was heavily criticised for appearing to legitimize Holocaust deniers who use his platform.

Cover image: Alex Jones from Infowars.com speaks during a rally in support of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump near the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., July 18, 2016. (REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

This article originally appeared on VICE US.