NRA training instructor and program coordinator Mark Richardson is a veteran of the organization, having worked there since at least 2006; in the immediate aftermath of the Parkland shooting, Richardson used his NRA email account to correspond with Infowars correspondent Wolfgang Halbig, a Sandy Hook denier who has pursued a career of harassing the grieving parents of the children murdered there and accusing them of being "crisis actors" in a "false flag operation" whose children were either imaginary or unharmed. Read the rest
Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his Infowars rantathon channel have been turfed out of virtually every major platform due to his love of violent rhetoric, racial hatred and general bigotry. Welcome to Roku, Alex!
Roku may have given itself a brand safety issue. The streaming service has added Infowars, the live show hosted by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, as a channel. Jones was in the news on Jan. 11 for losing a legal battle to Sandy Hook shooting victims’ families, forcing his company to turn over documents.
On Jan. 14, Roku users tweeted their concerns at the company. One tweet from @DanielMadison78 asked, “Hey @Roku, what’s with you adding Infowars to your platform?” In a now-deleted tweet, Roku’s support account replied with a link to the channel.
Roku is built-in to many television sets nowadays—for people who don't like racist conspiracy theories, it has just become a nearly perfect wedding of convenience and very unexpected consequences.
UPDATE: Following the backlash, they removed them.
After the InfoWars channel became available, we heard from concerned parties and have determined that the channel should be removed from our platform. Deletion from the channel store and platform has begun and will be completed shortly.
— Roku (@Roku) January 16, 2019
If I'd known that this month was going to be so fully of celebratory toasts to Alex Jones' bigoted InfoWars media empire being torn apart, piece-by-piece, I'd have bought one of those magnum-sized bottles of Jameson from Costco.
From The Verge:
PayPal will no longer do business with Infowars, according to a post on the conspiracy theory site this morning. PayPal broke the news in an email to Infowars yesterday, saying the company had conducted a comprehensive review of the Infowars site and found that it “promoted hate and discriminatory intolerance against certain communities and religions,” a violation of PayPal’s acceptable use policy. Infowars had used PayPal to process transactions for its on-site store; the site will have ten days to find new payment processors.
PayPal’s partnership with the site was highlighted in August by Right Wing Watch’s Jared Holt, who described “highly publicized and egregious violations of the platform’s own terms of service.” Reached by The Verge, Holt said today’s move had been a long time coming. “Removing PayPal from the Infowars platform inhibits Jones’ ability to make money from his malice,” Holt said, “but it’s a bit odd it took so long given how egregiously Infowars violated the platform’s terms of service.”
So yeah--kicked to the curb like so much crazed, racist conspiracy-peddling trash.
For those of you keeping score at home, that's PayPal, YouTube, Twitter and Apple's iOS App Store that have all told InfoWars to jog on. Given the number of lives Jones' hateful bullshit touches on a regular basis, I'm very happy to see every possible avenue he has to profit from the bile and fear he spreads to make a living go up in flames. Read the rest
All but exiled from social media over his violent threats and harassment of journalists, Alex Jones's Infowars iOS app became his last prominent platform1 after Twitter finally gave him the boot. Apple promptly banned it hours later, citing a rule against "content that is offensive, insensitive, upsetting, intended to disgust, or in exceptionally poor taste."
The App Store has been a valuable platform for Infowars. The site relaunched its app on July 9, and, according to the analytics company Apptopia, it was downloaded about 93,000 times in its first month. Though it cautioned that the app is still too new to the App Store for it to provide definitive daily average user analytics, Apptopia told BuzzFeed News that Infowars has logged more than 600,000 hours spent in-app as of August. After Jones' ban from Facebook, YouTube, and Apple's podcast platform, the app surged to the third spot in Apple's App Store.
1. It's still on the Google Play store. No-one seems to care? Is it just a toxic waste site these days? Read the rest
Twitter made its decision one day after Jones accosted CNN reporter Oliver Darcy on Capitol Hill, and livestreamed the encounter through Periscope, which Twitter owns. Read the rest
Race-baiting internet blowhard and alternative medicine profiteer Alex Jones said getting banned by Facebook or YouTube would only increase the numbers of rabid fans willing to click on his rants and buy his bullshit. Read the rest
Look, I'm as delighted as you are to see Alex Jones' ability to spread hatred curtailed -- because in a world where all the important speech takes place online, and where online speech is owned by four or five companies, being kicked off of Big Tech's services is likely to be an extinction-level event. Read the rest
For years, the big social media platforms have used their market dominance to decide who could speak and on what terms: they forced drag queens and trans people to use their "real" names; kicked Black Lives Matter activists off their platforms; and allowed autocratic rulers to force opposition activists to expose themselves to arrest and torture as a condition of using their platforms. Read the rest
When we worry about free speech, we mostly worry about governments suppressing speech, not private actors. It's one thing to say that the US government shouldn't have the ability to arbitrarily censor some speech, but it's another altogether to say, that, for example, Boing Boing shouldn't be able to kick jerks off its message boards -- that has as much to do with "compelled publication" as it does with "free speech." Read the rest
Unhinged conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been leading a psychotic crusade against the Sandy Hook victims' families since before the crime scene tape was even removed from the building. For five years, Jones and his followers (insert drinking the Flavor-Aid reference here) have accused the government of conducting a false flag operation in Newton in order to overturn the Second Amendment. This, of course, is utter bullshit. But that hasn't stopped them from cyberstalking the families, accusing them of lying about their dead children, and in some cases, sending death threats. The harassment has been severe enough to cause some of the families to relocate.
In Texas this week, a defamation claim by the family of Noah Pozner will be heard in court. The Pozners, whose 6-year-old son Noah was one of the victims, have been forced to move seven times due to the harassment of Jones and his Infowars infantry. The case is one of several related to Sandy Hook that has been filed against Jones. But it is the Pozner case that seems to have gotten under Jones' skin. He is suing the Pozners for $100,000 to cover his legal costs.
"Mr. Jones is trying to have the Pozner and Fontaine cases dismissed under the Texas Citizens Participation Act, which protects citizens’ right to free speech against plaintiffs who aim to silence them through costly litigation. Mr. Jones is seeking more than $100,000 in court costs from the Pozner family."
We need a new word to describe Alex Jones. Read the rest
Alex Jones accused the grieving parents of the dead children of Sandy Hook of being "crisis actors" and kicked off a campaign of brutal harassment by his idiotic followers -- 900,000 of them on Facebook alone. Read the rest