Days after YouTube removed four videos from Infowars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, Facebook finally got around to doing the same thing. The videos in question—which spewed vitriol at liberals, Muslims, and trans children—were taken down on the grounds that the hate-filled rants violated Facebook’s policy on “violent or graphic content.”
Facebook had left the videos up on the grounds that they weren’t false enough or threatening enough to violate its community standards. While Facebook will remove videos that threaten violence or violate some other part of the platform’s community standards, at least three of Jones’s videos didn’t hit that threshold. Apparently asserting that the evil of “Liberalism” is best prevented by shoving a young boy to the ground is cool with Facebook?
As Fast Company reported earlier, the social network is loathe to remove content that doesn’t clearly violate its community guidelines because it reduces ad impressions, and Facebook would rather not be in the business of fact-checking. Now Facebook has reviewed and removed the videos for violating community standard that “prohibit content that encourages physical harm [bullying], or attacks someone based on their religious affiliation or gender identity [hate speech].”
Facebook also banned Jones’s personal account for 30 days, because his personal profile had previously received a warning. It also served him with a warning notice for the Infowars page that he moderates. Surprisingly, this is the first warning for the Infowars page.
Facebook has published a blog post about its content reviewers. Turns out, they’re people, just like you, but with access to better mental health care.