Facebook has blocked access to the Alex Jones account in response to a post which featured an ISIS militant, just months after Infowars warned about the social network giant’s draconian new censorship policies.
Facebook has blocked the Alex Jones account for posting an image of an ISIS militant. Ridiculous censorship. pic.twitter.com/gqeaHmMqJV
— Alex Jones (@RealAlexJones) May 6, 2015
The image merely featured an image of an ISIS fighter alongside the Stalin quote, “The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror.”
Upon attempting to login to the Alex Jones account this morning, we were notified that the image had been removed and that posting rights had been suspended for three days. The account is still visible although new posts will not be allowed until the ban is lifted.
Alex Jones’ combined Facebook accounts have a total of around 1.5 million followers.
The image of the ISIS militant contains no blood or anything whatsoever that could be construed as offensive or obscene. The removal of the picture and the block on the account is likely a result of complaints made by people who merely dislike Alex Jones.
As we documented back in January, Facebook’s new policy allows for groups of agitators to game the system in order to censor political content with which they disagree.
Users are allowed to flag posts for deletion which “annoy” them or they find offensive. There is also an option to flag a post for deletion if it “goes against my views” or content which users find “distasteful”.
These terms are of course completely subjective and allow for perfectly legitimate content to be censored, leading to blocks being placed against a user’s account. The system is wide open to abuse from organized groups, be they individuals representing a political doctrine, governments or corporations.
In other cases, posts are not deleted, they are merely relegated so that hardly anybody sees them, a clever form of censorship which prevents Facebook from having to take responsibility.
The latest example of censorship targeting Infowars arrives after Alexa’s apparent move to manipulate its rankings system to create the impression that Infowars is losing huge amounts of traffic when in reality our figures have never been higher.