Alex Jones keeps on streaming despite YouTube's live ban

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Jones kept his shirt on Thursday, barely.
Jones kept his shirt on Thursday, barely. Credit: InfoWars via Youtube

Alex Jones can't be silenced on YouTube it seems.

The InfoWars conspiracy monger was able to keep his channel streaming live on YouTube despite receiving a warning for videos that violated the site's policies. Channels that have a "strike" or warning against them are not allowed to live stream for 90 days. Accounts that receive three strikes in 90 days are terminated.

Despite the fresh strike against his account, Jones was able to stream on Thursday through another channel belonging to Ron Gibson, who is affiliated with Jones' InfoWars network.

"Exposing internet censorship and having a real national debate about it, will bring it down," Jones said live on YouTube. "It's like blowing up the Death Star."

Jones had been hit with a strike this week for videos that were deemed to contain hate speech against Muslims and transgender people, and a video for child endangerment called "How to prevent liberalism," which featured a child being pushed down to the ground.

YouTube declined to comment about the workaround Jones found to livestream his show. Jones and Gibson did not respond to requests for comment.

A person familiar with YouTube's policies said clandestine livestreams of Jones' show were against the site's rules and would be shut down if brought to YouTube's attention.

InfoWars has been at the heart of the debate over the limits of free speech on social media. Jones is known for his elaborate conspiracy theories, and has been criticized for calling school shootings, most notably the tragedy at Sany Hook, "hoaxes" and the victims "crisis actors."

Jones' channel has also referred to transgender people as "demons," and he has even called Michelle Obama a derogatory word for a transgender person.

Aside from YouTube, other major platforms including Facebook and Twitter are feeling political pressure, as conservatives and liberalsalike petition the companies to mute what they deem offensive. Republicans in Congress even called hearings on censorship on social media, claiming their voices were being unfairly stifled.

Facebook, for example, recently defined more clearly what type of behavior can lead to punishment on the platform, but it is criticized for arbitrarily enforcing those policies. In the case of Jones, InfoWars seems to fall under Facebook's definition of "false news," while not clearly rising to hate speech or calls to violence.

Last week, CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended Facebook's policies in an interview with Recode's Kara Swisher. "The approach that we've taken to false news is not to say, 'you can't say something wrong on the internet.' I think that that would be too extreme," Zuckerberg said.

On Thursday, even President Trump was tweeting about "shadow bans," suggesting platforms quietly hide or bury certain posts so that the sender doesn't know their messages are being effectively hidden.

"Twitter "SHADOW BANNING" prominent Republicans. Not good," Trump tweeted. "We will look into this discriminatory and illegal practice at once! Many complaints."

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