L. Brent Bozell III, who is one of the most prominent conservatives in the United States, came to the defense of Alex Jones, the founder of the InfoWars website and media enterprises. Bozell released a lengthy statement on Monday in which he responded to the decision by Facebook, Apple, YouTube and Spotify to remove “The Alex Jones Show” and associated InfoWars content from their media platforms. Bozell wrote:
“I don’t support Alex Jones and what InfoWars produces. He’s not a conservative. However, banning him and his outlet is wrong. It’s not just a slippery slope, it’s a dangerous cliff that these social media companies are jumping off to satisfy CNN and other liberal outlets.”
Bozell heads the Media Research Center, which released in April an extensive report on social media censorship. In his statement, he said that as part of a “disturbing trend,” “conservative congressmen have been shadowbanned on Twitter,” while prolife and progun posts and videos have also been targeted by several media platforms.
Facebook has permanently BANNED Infowars.— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) August 6, 2018
For unspecified "hate speech". They didn't even tell us what the offending posts were.
This sets a chilling precedent for free speech.
To all other conservative news outlets - you are next.
The great censorship purge has truly begun. pic.twitter.com/v7Yo9hI0q3
Bozell is the nephew of William F. Buckley, the founding editor of the National Review magazine, which since the 1950s has been considered the flagship publication of American conservatism. In January 2016, Bozell railed against the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump, saying "God help this country if this man were president..." In an interview on Fox News, Bozell said:
"What's going on out there? There is an absolute fury at Washington, for years, an absolute betrayal, especially from the Republican establishment. I share in that. I don't think there's anybody who has been more furious than I have been.
"But you can't just tap into that vein and pretend that you are going to do something about it, when in fact you have a real record of being the opposite of everything. You are a shameless self-promoter, a huckster, selling only yourself.
"God help this country if this man were president and he continued on in this way..."
Here follows Brent Bozell’s complete statement on Alex Jones:
“I don’t support Alex Jones and what InfoWars produces. He’s not a conservative. However, banning him and his outlet is wrong. It’s not just a slippery slope, it’s a dangerous cliff that these social media companies are jumping off to satisfy CNN and other liberal outlets.
“This is part of a disturbing trend. In recent months top conservative congressmen have been shadowbanned on Twitter. Pro-life and pro-gun posts and videos are often removed on several platforms. Liberal journalists even objected to one conservative outlet attending a meeting with Facebook. Several conservative organizations like Live Action, the NRA and even the Christian satire site Babylon Bee have complained they had posts removed or censored.
“Social media sites are supposedly neutral platforms, but they are increasingly becoming opportunities for the left and major media to censor any content that they don’t like. The lack of transparency is also problematic and, as of this release, Facebook, YouTube, Apple and Spotify have provided no detailed explanation for the ban.
“Conservatives are increasingly concerned that InfoWars is not the end point for those who want to ban speech. It’s just the beginning. We are rapidly approaching a point where censorship of opposing voices is the norm. That’s dangerous.”
Pro-First Amendment patriots are rallying behind #Infowars and #AlexJones after authoritarian tech titans #Facebook, #YouTube, and #Apple banned us from their platforms on the same day in a coordinated communist-style crackdown - https://t.co/Wj1GFX18ND #1a #Censorship #USA— Alex Jones (@RealAlexJones) August 6, 2018
On Monday, Facebook and Apple announced that they had taken steps to remove content associated with InfoWars and Alex Jones because it had violated their policies. YouTube, which is owned by Google, also removed Jones’ channel, which had 2.4 million subscribers. A spokesperson for YouTube claimed that the account was terminated for supposedly engaging in “hate speech and harassment.” Facebook removed four pages associated with InfoWars and Jones, including the Alex Jones Channel Page, the Alex Jones Page, the InfoWars Page and the Infowars Nightly News Page. Last week, Facebook removed four videos from the pages because they allegedly engaged in hate speech and bullying. It also suspended the personal profile of Jones.
In a twitter message on Monday, Jones called on followers to access live streams directly from the InfoWars website, describing it as "the one platform that they CAN'T ban."
Apple chose to shut down Infowars after repeated criticism of them selling data to and working with Communist Chinese government. Just a coincidence. pic.twitter.com/OSu6ZOMdFG— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) August 6, 2018
Facebook has suffered a public relations crisis over its handling of speech it finds objectionable or labels as fake news. Facebook said that the removal of the four InfoWars pages on Monday was unrelated to its PR troubles. "While much of the discussion around InfoWars has been related to false news ... none of the violations that spurred today's removals were related to this," it said in a statement.
On Facebook's newsroom page and under the heading, "Enforcing our community standards," Facebook stated:
"So what happened with InfoWars? They were up on Friday and now they are down? As a result of reports we received, last week, we removed four videos on four Facebook Pages for violating our hate speech and bullying policies. These pages were the Alex Jones Channel Page, the Alex Jones Page, the InfoWars Page and the Infowars Nightly News Page. In addition, one of the admins of these Pages – Alex Jones – was placed in a 30-day block for his role in posting violating content to these Pages. Since then, more content from the same Pages has been reported to us — upon review, we have taken it down for glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies. All four Pages have been unpublished for repeated violations of Community Standards and accumulating too many strikes. While much of the discussion around Infowars has been related to false news, which is a serious issue that we are working to address by demoting links marked wrong by fact checkers and suggesting additional content, none of the violations that spurred today’s removals were related to this."
However, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan -- who has been identified as an anti-Semite and homophobic racist -- still has a page on Facebook, as do various pages associated with the radical antifa movement.
Infowars was banned from Facebook, but this account with over 1.7M followers that instructed people to:— Far Left Watch (@FarLeftWatch) August 6, 2018
1.) bring knives, daggers, and guns to a "protest"
2.) conceal them under their clothes
3.) and to "not bother with the martyrs"
is still verified and active. Weird, right? pic.twitter.com/TRkvXls3PX
Below is my official statement on Facebook, Apple and Spotify removing "The Alex Jones Show" and other InfoWars content from their platforms. pic.twitter.com/LJznYL1598— Brent Bozell (@BrentBozell) August 6, 2018