×

YouTube Deletes Videos Posted by Infowars, Suspends Alt-Right Channel From Live-Streaming

Google’s YouTube pulled down four videos posted by Alex Jones’ ultra right-wing Infowars for violating policies banning hate speech and graphic content.

YouTube’s penalizing of Infowars, a notorious source of conspiracies and misinformation, is the latest development in the ongoing challenge internet platforms face in trying to balance free speech with enforcing standards to block hateful and disturbing content.

In two of the Infowars videos deleted by YouTube, Jones railed against Muslims and asserted that they were taking over control of European countries. Another video, titled “How To Prevent Liberalism,” depicted a man shoving a young boy to the ground, while in the fourth video Jones compared the creators of a show featuring animated drag queens to Satanists.

“We have long-standing policies against child endangerment and hate speech,” YouTube said in a statement. “We apply our policies consistently according to the content in the videos, regardless of the speaker or the channel.”

The Infowars violation of YouTube policies count as one so-called “community strike.” Channels that receive three strikes within 90 days are subject to termination, per the video platform’s rules. In addition, channels that receive a strike are suspended from live-streaming for 90 days “or until the associated issue(s) are resolved.”

Popular on Variety

In a post on Infowars’ website titled “Sharia-Compliant YouTube Removes Videos Criticizing Islamic Immigration,” the site wrote, “YouTube could have simply slapped an age restriction on the videos but instead leapt straight to a copyright strike, further illustrating how this is part of a wider assault to remove the Alex Jones Channel.” Note that YouTube didn’t remove the videos because of a copyright violation but because it determined that the videos ran afoul of its guidelines prohibiting violent and graphic content.

YouTube had issued a previous community strike against Infowars in February 2018 for violating its policy against harassment and bullying, over a video asserting that David Hogg, one of the students who survived the shooting massacre in Parkland, Fla., was a paid actor. (Strikes against a channel expire if the channel stays in compliance with YouTube’s policies for 90 days.)

Meanwhile, Facebook has recently come under fire for not taking steps to suspend Infowars from its platform. The right-wing outlet’s bizarre assertions have included claiming that the deadly mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 was a hoax. In an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg published Wednesday, the parents of one of the children murdered at Sandy Hook said that Facebook has determined that “our lives are less important than providing a safe haven for hate” by not removing offensive and incendiary content.

On Wednesday, Facebook execs were grilled at the Television Critics Association summer tour about why Infowars was included in the Facebook Watch section. In response, Facebook VP of product Fidji Simo said, “I find Infowars absolutely atrocious. That being said, we have the hard job of trying to find a sense of balance between freedom of expression and safety.”

In Infowars videos posted Tuesday on YouTube and Facebook, Jones accused Robert Mueller, the special counsel who is investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, of covering up for a pedophile and he threatened a “political” shootout with Mueller (saying the special prosecutor is going to “get it,” while pretending to hold a gun). The YouTube video has been removed; Facebook said the video did not violate its policies.

More Digital

  • GoNoodle I Used a Comma

    Can GoNoodle Climb to the Kid-Media Big Leagues?

    If you’re a parent of grade-school kids in America, the odds are good your tykes know about GoNoodle’s upbeat music and exercise videos, designed to get them up on their feet and moving around. But GoNoodle doesn’t have the same brand recognition as, say, Disney or Nickelodeon — and KC Estenson wants to change that. [...]

  • Friends TV Series

    'Friends' DVD, Digital Sales Soar as It Takes a Break From Streaming

    They’re on a streaming break — but “Friends” will still be there for you. WarnerMedia’s home entertainment division is aiming to capitalize on the brief disappearance of the hit sitcom from streaming video on demand, as fans look for other ways to get their “Friends” fix. Repeats of the wildly popular laffer, which ran for [...]

  • RuPaul

    RuPaul Launches Self-Help Internet Class Teaching You How to 'Work the Runway of Life'

    Legendary drag performer and TV star RuPaul is leading a self-help online course to teach you how to find your identity — and live your best life. The 16-lesson course, offered through online-education platform MasterClass, costs $90 for unlimited access. In RuPaul’s class on “self-expression and authenticity,” he shares experiences from his journey to self-love [...]

  • Spotify and Resident Advisor Announce Ticketing

    Spotify Unveils Ticketing Partnership With Dance Music Platform Resident Advisor

    Spotify today announced a ticketing partnership with influential dance-music website Resident Advisor with the goal of “supporting music communities around the world by increasing attendance to thousands of local venues and parties.” The program will connect Spotify users to events by artists via localized event listings promoted within the application. The program is similar to [...]

  • charlie hunnam TIFF 2019 Kelly Gang

    Apple TV’s 'Shantaram' Halts Production Amid Search for New Showrunner, Weather Problems

    Production of Apple TV Plus’ Charlie Hunnam-starring “Shantaram” has been halted in Australia due to a writing backlog. Only two of 10 episodes shot so far, Variety has confirmed. Though all episodes had been outlined in the writers’ room, it is understood that showrunner and high-profile screenwriter Eric Warren Singer (“Top Gun: Maverick,” “American Hustle”) [...]

  • Pictured: Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard

    CBS All Access, Showtime to Reach 16 Million Streaming Subscribers By Year's End

    CBS All Access and Showtime are on track to garner a combined 16 million subscribers by year’s end, ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish told investors Thursday. ViacomCBS’ subscription-streaming offerings ended 2019 with 11 million subscribers in total, a 50% gain over 2018. CBS Corp. previously forecast the two streaming services would reach 25 million subscribers by [...]

  • delete Me

    Viaplay Orders Young Adult Series 'Delete Me' From Norway (EXCLUSIVE)

    Viaplay, Scandinavia’s leading streaming service, has ordered “Delete Me,” a Norwegian form series skewing young adults and headlined by cast of up-and-comers. Written and directed by Marie Kristiansen (“Young and Promising”), the series uses innovative narrative techniques to explore vital contemporary topics such as cyber-bullying, hacking and exclusion. Each episode of 20 minutes is told [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content