Alex Jones — he of the rants and profuse sweating and unhinged hysteria — has been a controversial figure for years. Of late, Google and Facebook have come under increasing pressure to explain how his behavior, which includes racist monologues and his now-infamous claims that mass shootings are faked, isn’t a violation of their terms of service. Now YouTube, it appears, is listening.
The company gave Jones a “strike” this week for violating their broadcast standards, as reported by the Verge. Under YouTube policies, if you get three strikes within a three-month period, your channel is removed.
We have longstanding policies against child endangerment and hate speech,” a YouTube spokeswoman said in a statement. “We apply our policies consistently according to the content in the videos, regardless of the speaker or the channel. We also have a clear three-strikes policy and we terminate channels when they receive three strikes in three months.”
Although individual videos are usually counted as a strike, this strike comes from a bundle of four videos — which were classified as hate speech against Muslims and transgender people — plus child endangerment, for a video of a child being shoved by a grown man (which Jones posted as a comedy bit with the title “How to Deal with Liberals”). In a weird wrinkle, channel owners are allowed to bundle videos as a good-faith opportunity to clean up their offerings in order to prevent other potential violations. Still, the conspiracy theorist won’t be able to broadcast live for 90-days.
InfoWars has yet to publicly comment on this story, and it’s worth noting that Jones has collected strikes before. This also arrives amid controversy about Jones appearing to threaten to assassinate Robert Mueller while accusing the special counsel of overseeing the rape of children on Facebook, a behavior that the platform refused to sanction Jones for.
Over the years, Jones has insisted he’s an entertainer, at least when it’s legally convenient, but clearly, he’s trying to shift people’s ideologies and using toxic speech to do so. Hopefully, other platforms will follow YouTube’s lead and call him out on his actions.