With the mid-term elections treading close upon, YouTube is serving as the latest internet platform to keep a check on the activities of InfoWars- the far-right conspiracy website.
The company all in all has struck four InfoWars videos for being comprised of graphic content and hate speech. The channel has been barred for 90 days from broadcasting live.
InfoWars received its first strike in February, is accused of harassing and bullying, consequential of uploading videos that claimed the Parkland shooting survivors as paid actors – a callous yet laughable claim. The second strike followed a few days later with same claims. However, the recent move indicates “third strike” for the channel.
As the 90 days window frame is over and done ever since first and second strikes of InfoWars, they are considered as elapsed therefore, the site seems to have escaped the YouTube ban due to this third strike.
Mr. Alex Jones looks chipper vis-à-vis the ban – as he has the reason. All three of the videos are still circulating on Facebook as well as the InfoWars site itself has the video. He portrayed the videos as ‘critical of liberalism’ on twitter.
The first video titled “How to Prevent Liberalism — A Public Service Announcement, depicts a child being pushed by a man to the ground. In the second video, Mr. Jones criticizes a cartoon that featured boys dressed up as glamorous women. The third one tells us about how “Islam Has Already Conquered Europe – apparently a news to those of us that live here, but, hey.
Due to some reason, the fourth one has been removed from the Facebook page of InfoWars, titled as “French President Macron Pretends Crime Rates and Migrants Are Not Co-Related.” Facebook, meanwhile, claims that it is content with InfoWars as it deems that Jones’ claim regarding special counsel and former FBI director Robert Mueller as a child rapist and his burlesqued shooting of Mueller follows its community guidelines.
As per the company, the ‘shooting doesn’t count as a credible threat of violence and “just being false doesn’t violate the community standards.” As for Twitter, the company is taking a subtler approach. Gizmodo did a little experimentation and stated that Twitter is demoting the posts of InfoWars editor-in-chief Paul Joseph Watson except for the ones from InfoWars and Jones himself.
These events raise a question mark on the effect of the presence of InfoWars on social media sites as the November mid-term elections are just around the corner. Facebook has made it crystal clear that if the posts incite violence or misinformation, it would be removed. Otherwise, Facebook will gladly host the site’s post.
Whereas, Twitter continues with its plan to shadowban only marginal far-right trolls.
Meanwhile, YouTube’s three strike rule may seem legitimately forthright- but in this case, it is anything but. The second strike Of InfoWars’ for instance, consisted of two different Parkland shooting conspiracy videos were posted some time apart. Surprisingly, there is a three-month period span in the four videos covered by the latest strike.
As things continue to remain the same, YouTube’s 90 days censorship on InfoWars’ live stream will come to an end by the end of October i.e. just a couple of days before the crucial date.
InfoWars can be up and run normal – only if it decides to keep its nose clean between now and then.