Over the past several days Apple, Facebook, YouTube and Spotify have removed most of Mr. Jones’s programming from their services in a sweeping effort to rein in those who traffic in online misinformation that draws hundreds of thousands of followers and results in harassment and threats to their targets. Stitcher, LinkedIn and Pinterest have also removed Infowars content.
.. YouTube’s termination of Mr. Jones’s channel cost him access to his 2.4 million subscribers and resulted in the removal of all his past videos. Those videos had amassed billions of views, in part because YouTube continued to recommend them to users who had shown interest in conservative topics.
.. Mr. Jones has been trying to compensate by promoting his website and mobile app. On Tuesday, after news of Mr. Jones’s bans spread, Infowars was Apple’s fourth most popular news app, outranking those from every mainstream news media organization. Before the ban, it ranked 33rd on average since July 12.
.. He suggested that it was his support for President Trump, not his spreading of falsehoods, that led to him being “de-platformed.”
“This is a war on free speech,” Mr. Jones said. “This is what the corporate media is doing in America because it’s afraid of new independent media and asking questions.”.. Facebook removed Mr. Jones’s pages for violating its policies by “glorifying violence” and “using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants.” YouTube terminated Mr. Jones’s channel for repeatedly violating its policies, including its prohibition on hate speech. Spotify cited its own prohibition on hate speech as the reason for removing a podcast by Mr. Jones... Indeed, Infowars’ own website says in its terms of service that the company “may review and delete any content you post on the website or elsewhere utilizing our services or system if we determine, in our sole discretion, that the content violates the rights of others, is not appropriate for the website, or otherwise violates this agreement.”.. While private companies can choose what to take down from their sites, the fact that social media platforms like Facebook have become indispensable platforms for the speech of billions means that they should resist calls to censor offensive speech.. The recent decision by Facebook and YouTube to take down Alex Jones’s content may have provided a quick solution to a challenging situation, but encouraging these companies to silence individuals in this way will backfire.”.. Mr. Jones was defiant on his program Monday, saying past efforts to screen offensive broadcasts have “only made us stronger.”
.. “But it has not allowed us to reach a lot of new people,” he continued. “That’s why you have to understand now that Infowars is the most censored program in the world — because we know the truth.”
.. Over two decades, Mr. Jones has built a profitable business selling diet supplements, survivalist gear, and air and water filtration equipment as he spread bizarre theories, including that the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, were an inside job, that the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., was a government-backed hoax, and that various government-orchestrated plots are responsible for poisoning Americans’ water, air and food. Mr. Jones promotes himself and Infowars as near-solitary truth tellers in a news landscape dominated by left-leaning “corporatist” media — even though the popular Drudge Report website broadcast his show on Monday.
.. Now, what he calls his “de-platforming” has only increased his sense of grievance, and that of his followers — even as it shrinks his reach before the November midterm elections.
.. “I knew what the enemy was doing — I knew their battle plan, I made the conscious decision to draw their fire,” he said on his show Monday. “When you see the Alamo assaulted and myself probably destroyed, I’ve been telling you this for years,” he said, adding: “Remember Infowars. Remember free speech.”
.. So far, Mr. Trump, who praised Mr. Jones during an appearance on his radio show during the presidential campaign, has remained silent as Mr. Jones issues appeals to Trump supporters.
.. On Tuesday, Donald Trump Jr. posted on Twitter that Mr. Murphy was “A Democrat Senator openly admitting that Big Tech’s censorship campaign is really about purging all conservative media. How long before Big Tech and their Democrat friends move to censor and purge Breitbart News, Daily Caller and other conservatives voices from their platforms?”
The removal of his content comes as Mr. Jones faces multiple defamation lawsuits for claims he spread on Infowars, including by the families of nine Sandy Hook victims, who are pursuing three separate lawsuits against him.
.. encourage his followers to migrate to his Infowars website, where he has posted the content removed by other platforms. He is also asking followers to donate to him — and buy his merchandise.
.. “Don’t forget the financial support; that is the strongest thing you can do to make sure that we continue on and are strong in the fight,” he said. Referring listeners to his online store, he said, “Go there today and send them a strong message that you stand for the First Amendment, you stand for us and get air filtration, water filtration, optics, preparedness gear, high quality storable foods, supplements that are so good for you and your family.
“Feed your gladiator,” he urged.
Despite the numerous allegations made by women that Moore had acted inappropriately toward them when they were teenagers, Bannon blazed ahead with his support for the candidate, stumping with him in the campaign’s final days.
“If they can destroy Roy Moore, they can destroy you,” he told a crowd in early December.
.. many prominent conservative voices, including the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board, were quick to question Bannon’s importance to the party because of the loss.
On Breitbart, the site that Bannon serves as executive chairman, conservative writer Ann Coulter pushed back on the assertion that he deserved blame for the loss.
“Bannon is the least culpable!” she tweeted
.. Coulter’s piece served more as a broadside against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for fighting against one of Moore’s primary challengers, Mo Brooks, a view shared by far-right Fox News host Sean Hannity.
.. She said she believed that the election demonstrated the importance of harsh immigration policies for Republicans.
“Everyone who screwed the pooch on this one better realize fast: All that matters is immigration. It’s all that matters to the country, and it’s all that matters for winning elections,” she wrote.
.. The Daily Caller, a reliably conservative site with a large following, downplayed the election news entirely, with only scant references on its home page. Instead the site focused on negative stories about special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into possible Russian collusion: sound bites of Republican congressmen aggressively questioning Rod J. Rosenstein
.. One story, which later led the website, focused on the “pressure” facing Doug Jones to vote with the GOP, a push started by the Republican National Committee immediately after Moore’s loss.
.. A couple of conservative sites published stories saying the election was tainted by fraudulent voting, claims that were published with scant evidence.
.. “And they, as they do all over the country, had the dead people vote and had the folks bused in in those Democrat areas, and they stole the election,” he said. “So it really is biblical what we’re witnessing, and the dirty tricks of the Clintons and the dirty tricks of their systems in this country reaching down through into daily life. I mean, they come after you when you fight them.”
.. Right-wing site Big League Politics, which was started by former Breitbart employees, ran multiple stories that sowed doubt about the integrity of the vote.