Trump's favorite conspiracy theorist is getting desperate now that he's been banned from almost every major platform on the internet.
In a span of about 24 hours last week, Alex Jones — the pro-Trump conspiracy theorist who is best known for terrorizing the families of school shooting victims — was kicked off four of the largest social media platforms on the internet, leaving him desperate to keep his grip on the few remaining platforms that will still have him.
Following decisions last week by Apple, Facebook, YouTube, and Spotify to ban or suspend content and/or accounts belonging to Jones or his website Infowars due to violations of rules related to hate speech and incitement of violence, Jones fled to the video-based platform Vimeo to continue spewing his unhinged hateful rhetoric.
Over the course of two days late last week, Jones uploaded 50 new videos to the website, apparently hoping to take advantage of one of the few places where he was still welcome.
But it didn't take long for Vimeo to make it clear that he wasn't welcome there, either.
Within days, Vimeo had removed video content by Infowars from its platform. On Sunday, a spokesperson for the company told Business Insider that the videos were removed because they “violated our Terms of Service prohibitions on discriminatory and hateful content."
"[W]e do not want to profit from content of this nature in any way," the Vimeo spokesperson said.
That mirrors recent statements made by other major tech companies, which have all cited violations of policies banning hate speech and/or glorifying of violence as the reason for kicking Jones off their platforms. Most of the companies cited repeated violations of their rules upon announcing their decisions to ban content from Infowars.
Twitter is the only major social media platform that has not taken action to remove or ban Jones from its website, even after CNN's Oliver Darcy published a damning report detailing exactly how Jones had repeatedly violated the company's terms of service. This flatly contradicted a previous statement by Twitter claiming that Jones had never violated its rules. It also apparently spooked Jones, who immediately started clinging onto Twitter as his lifeline to the internet.
In the aftermath of the report, Jones took to Twitter to delete the tweets that violated Twitter's rules, in what appears to be a desperate attempt not to get kicked off the only social media platform that still welcomes him. On Monday, Jones even named Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey as one of his "allies" in the fight "against globalists."
Jones made a name for himself by using Infowars to spread dangerous conspiracy theories like "Pizzagate," which motivated someone to drive across state lines to shoot up a D.C.-area pizza shop. He has also been one of the major hubs for hoaxes and conspiracy theories in the aftermath of school shootings. Following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school earlier this year, Jones spread false information accusing the survivors of being "crisis actors," among other things.
One of his most heinous conspiracy theories is the false claim that the 2011 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a hoax, and that no one actually died in the shooting that killed 6 adults and 20 young children. As a result, families of the dead children have been harassed by Infowars fans who believe that the whole thing was staged and that the families are part of the "cover-up."
The parents of one Sandy Hook Elementary shooting victim told The New York Times that they had to move hundreds of miles away and can't even visit their son's grave because they receive so many death threats and harassing messages stemming from the conspiracy theories peddled by Jones.
According to NPR, Jones is currently facing five separate defamation suits. Three of the lawsuits were filed by families of Sandy Hook victims. Another case was filed by a person who was allegedly falsely identified by Infowars as the Stoneman Douglas shooter.
Jones is also accused, in another lawsuit, of knowingly spreading false information about a witness to the violence in Charlottesville last year, falsely claiming that the man is a "high-level CIA" operative on the "payroll of George Soros" who is part of a secret plot to overthrow Trump.
All the while, Jones has maintained a loyal fan base that includes Trump — who has praised Jones for his "amazing" reputation — and some of his closest allies like Roger Stone, who is a frequent guest on Infowars. Many of Trump's "deep state" conspiracy theories come straight from Infowars, and in recent days Jones has propped up Trump's anti-FBI crusade by fueling vicious and dangerous hoaxes about special counsel Robert Mueller.
While he's been shunned by nearly the entire internet, Jones still has an ally in the White House, and he's not shy about touting it. On Monday, as he railed against "communist style censorship," Jones urged his fans to go to his online store and buy a T-shirt — one that features slogans promoting Infowars alongside Trump's re-election campaign.
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.