Infowars is on thin ice.
The far-right media outlet famous for claiming that Sandy Hook was a hoax has received its second “Community Guidelines Strike” on main YouTube channel, The Alex Jones Channel. If the channel receives a third strike within three months of its first, YouTube will terminate it.
“As our community guidelines outline, YouTube is not a platform for things like predatory behavior, stalking, threats, harassment, bullying, or intimidation,” reads YouTube’s notice to Infowars, shared on Twitter by Will Sommer. “We take this issue seriously and there are no excuses for such behavior. We remove, comments, videos, or posts where the main aim is to maliciously harass or attack another user.”
The videos found to be in violation are titled “What Is To Blame For The Florida High School Shooting?” and “The Truth About Crisis Actors In The Florida Shooting.” The former video, still available on the Alex Jones channel, criticizes liberal media coverage of the Parkland shooting, and claims proponents of gun control are misguided.
The channel’s first strike was sparked by a video called “David Hogg Can’t Remember His Lines In TV Interview,” in which Infowars host Alex Jones incorrectly identified a Parkland shooting survivor as a crisis actor (an actor employed to portray a victim of a staged tragedy).
The two crisis actor videos are no longer available on the Alex Jones Channel. Videos with similar titles are still available on War Room, another Infowars account.
YouTube’s Community Guidelines prohibit “harmful or dangerous content,” including content that “encourages others to do things that might cause them to get badly hurt, especially kids” as well as “hateful content” that condones violence against protected groups. The “David Hogg” video was cited under a clause banning harassment and bullying.
The announcement comes at a time when multiple websites are trying to figure out how to regulate sensitive and controversial content. YouTube has still blocked controversial vlogger Logan Paul from receiving ad revenue, and strengthened its barriers to entry to monetization in the wake of Paul’s violations. Back in November, Twitter paused its verification process for reworking after its verification of a white supremacist received backlash. And Facebook’s been trying all sorts of things to curtail the spread of fake news across its platform.
Infowars will have the opportunity to appeal YouTube’s decision. In the meantime, the channel is banned from posting videos for two weeks.
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