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Facebook bans Alex Jones, Infowars pages over violence, hate speech

The social network's ban comes after a 30-day suspension in late July that Jones was able to skirt.

A screenshot of Alex Jones speaking in a YouTube video

Four of Alex Jones' pages have been removed from Facebook.

Screenshot by CNET

Facebook has cracked down on far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones by removing four of his pages, citing breaches of its community standards.

The social media site removed the Alex Jones Channel Page, the Alex Jones Page, the Infowars Page and the Infowars Nightly News Page, Facebook said in a blog post Monday. 

The ban follows Apple's and Spotify's removal of his podcasts on Sunday, a 90-day ban on live broadcasts on YouTube late last month, and a 30-day Facebook suspension late last month of Jones' personal page that he was able to skirt by broadcasting on the other pages.

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"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," Facebook said Monday.

Facebook noted that the ban wasn't related to Infowars' spreading of fake news.

Jones tweeted his response to the ban Monday.

"We've been banned completely on Facebook, Apple, & Spotify. What conservative news outlet will be next?" he wrote. "The one platform that they CAN'T ban and will ALWAYS have our live streams is http://infowars.com/show. Spread the links to help #Infowars fight #Censorship"

An Infowars editor echoed Jones' response to the ban. It's an "ideological purge intended to re-define the very concept of free speech," Infowars editor-at-large Paul Joseph Watson said in an Infowars post.

"If free speech does not include controversial/unpopular/offensive speech, it doesn't exist," he wrote. "A society in which free speech doesn't exist is doomed to collapse into authoritarianism."

Jones is the founder and star of Infowars, which started as a local radio broadcast in Austin, Texas, in 1999 but grew alongside the rise of the internet. Jones now has an international following and millions of viewers on his daily livestream.

He has been widely criticized for promoting conspiracy theories, including those about the 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York and the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. In April, the parents of Sandy Hook victim Noah Pozner sued Jones, saying his conspiracy theories led to death threats against them and "intense emotional anguish."

First published, Aug. 6 at 5:50 a.m. PT.
Update, 7:18 a.m. PT: Adds Infowars' response and background material.
Update, 8:25 a.m. PT: Adds Jones' response.

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