Editor's note: YouTube banned Alex Jones just hours after Facebook removed several of his pages. We updated our original story, found here, below.
Social media and streaming behemoths are stripping away pieces of Alex Jones’ Infowars empire, bruising the reach of the conspiracy theorist known for portraying the Sandy Hook massacre as a hoax.
As of Monday afternoon, the Alex Jones Channel no longer appears on YouTube and shows a message that it’s been removed for violating YouTube’s community guidelines. YouTube did not immediately respond to VICE News request for comment, but in a statement to BuzzFeed News, the company said that when users repeatedly violate policies “like our policies against hate speech and harassment or our terms prohibiting circumvention of our enforcement measures, we terminate their accounts.”
The Alex Jones Channel page vanishing from YouTube comes just hours after Facebook announced that it removed four pages, including the Alex Jones Channel, Alex Jones, Infowars, and Infowars Nightly News over content that violated its community standards. And Facebook’s move came just hours after Apple purged all but one of Jones’ podcasts from Apple Podcasts and iTunes. Spotify has also removed all episodes of The Alex Jones Show.
Even Pinterest joined the fray, nixing the Infowars Pinterest page after Mashable reached out to the company for comment. A screenshot taken by the online news organization shows the Infowars page as having more than 10,000 followers.
On his live radio show Monday, Jones said he had a “feeling last night that we’d get totally banned.” He then said the social media purge is the modern-day equivalent of “book burning,” but added he’s “quite honored” that he was targeted for removal.
The Alex Jones Channel had 2.4 million followers on YouTube, and YouTube previously took down four videos from the Alex Jones channel and suspended the channel from live-streaming for 90 days.
It’s not like Jones’ traffic will be gutted, though. Infowars’ flagship website boasts 3.6 million monthly unique visitors, according to metrics kept by Amazon’s Alexa Internet. But most of that traffic comes via Alphabet Inc. properties Google and YouTube. His radio show, syndicated by more than 160 stations nationwide and streamed online, reaches millions. His Sunday broadcast out of Austin, Texas reached 2 million weekly listeners in 2010, according to Texas Monthly.
Then there’s his Twitter, where he’s verified and has about 815,000 followers. Following Apple’s announcement, Ellen K. Pao, former chief executive officer of Reddit, challenged Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on why Jones still has a verified account.“Your move, @jack. Be a leader with integrity like @tim_cook,” she said.
Jones himself is now on a 30-day Facebook block for posting violating content, the company said. Last week, Facebook removed four videos across pages relating to Jones. Cached results on Google show the now-removed pages had a combined 2.9 million “likes” from Facebook users.
Alex Jones’ response on his radio show to the Facebook takedown: “Thank God.”
Cover image: Conservative radio show host and conspiracy theorist speaks during a rally outside of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016. Cleveland, Ohio, United States. (Terray Sylvester/VWPics via AP Images)