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Facebook suspends profile of Infowars founder, says ban is 'close'

Facebook suspends profile of Infowars founder, says ban is 'close'

Variety reported that Facebook received reports on four different videos uploaded to Infowars' Facebook pages. Thursday's suspension represents the harshest action taken by Facebook so far.

Pulling the videos counts as strikes against the Facebook pages. In another video, Jones drew a comparison between an animated drag queen show to Satanism.

In a statement, Facebook said, "Our community standards make it clear that we prohibit content that encourages physical harm (bullying), or attacks someone based on their religious affiliation or gender identity (hate speech)".

The 30-day suspension applies only to Jones's personal page and not the account of his InfoWars website. "We remove content that violates our standards as soon as we're aware of it".

Three of the videos were reported to Facebook on Wednesday, but it's unclear what content they contained.

In this April 17 photo, "Infowars" host Alex Jones arrives at the Travis County Courthouse in Austin, Texas.

Infowars said the the videos were deleted because they were "critical of liberalism".

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This ban means that Jones can't post on any pages he is administrator for, and several pages he manages are at risk of being unpublished due to repeated violations.

First published July 26 at 9 p.m. PT. Update, July 27 at 9:15 a.m. PT: Adds that despite the ban, Jones' show is still streaming live on multiple Facebook pages.

His channel, which boasts more than 2.4 million subscribers, is in danger of being removed if he receives another two "community strikes" within three months. In February, YouTube levied a strike for a video claiming that David Hogg, one of the outspoken student survivors of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, was a "crisis actor".

Facebook did not immediately reply to Fortune's request for comment.

Within Facebook, the free-speech issues raised by Infowars and Jones have become an especially contentious topic.

The parents of two children who died in the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre in CT sued Jones for defamation in April, accusing him and Infowars of engaging in a campaign of "false, cruel, and risky assertions". The company is drawing a line by banning Jones for 30 days, but it's unclear if it would have done so if the news of Jones being punished on YouTube hadn't bubbled to the surface.

Facebook's policies about misinformation have been vague and inconsistently applied, and the company has appeared flat-footed when dealing with popular purveyors of conspiracy theories and hyperpartisan content such as Jones and Infowars.


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