Infowars YouTube account is two strikes away from a ban

The Alex Jones Channel, Infowars' biggest YouTube account, has one strike against it for a school shooting conspiracy video, according to a report.

Joan E. Solsman Former Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
Expertise Streaming video, film, television and music; virtual, augmented and mixed reality; deep fakes and synthetic media; content moderation and misinformation online Credentials
  • Three Folio Eddie award wins: 2018 science & technology writing (Cartoon bunnies are hacking your brain), 2021 analysis (Deepfakes' election threat isn't what you'd think) and 2022 culture article (Apple's CODA Takes You Into an Inner World of Sign)
Joan E. Solsman
2 min read

The Alex Jones Channel is InfoWars' biggest account on YouTube, with 2.2 million subscribers. 

Screenshot by Joan E. Solsman/CNET

Alex Jones, the media personality behind the site InfoWars, has been put on notice about a potential ban from YouTube, according to a report. 

The Alex Jones Channel, Infowars' biggest YouTube account with 2.2 million subscribers, has received one strike under a "three strikes" policy for video violating the service's content standards, CNN reported Friday, citing an unnamed source with knowledge of the account.  The channel posted a clip that portrayed survivors of last week's deadly high school shooting in Florida as actors. 

YouTube, Alex Jones and Infowars didn't immediately return messages seeking comment. 

Jones has been criticized in the past as a conspiracy theorist promoting untrue hypotheses about events like the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, in which 26 students and staff members were killed. 

YouTube has a "three strikes" rule for terminating accounts that run afoul of its community standards. After three violations of its official policies about appropriate content within three months, YouTube removes a channel. 

Earlier this month, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said that consistently enforcing the "three strikes" rule was important, regardless of the amount of backlash to any specific incident. Logan Paul, for example, wasn't kicked off the service for the posting of a video with a suicide victim despite the volume of public outcry. It counted as one strike, Wojcicki said. Instead, YouTube suspended ads from his channel, cutting off a lucrative revenue stream. 

The news comes at a time of heightened criticism against online platforms like YouTube and Facebook for failing to remove hoax reports and unfounded conspiracy theories about tragedies before reaching hundreds of thousands of people. Earlier this week, YouTube's top-trending section featured a video accusing David Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland, Florida, shooting, of being a "crisis actor." It was viewed more than 200,000 times before YouTube removed it, but not before it became the service's No. 1 top-trending clip. 

Tech Culture: From film and television to social media and games, here's your place for the lighter side of tech. 

The Smartest Stuff: Innovators are thinking up new ways to make you, and the things around you, smarter.