News & Politics

YouTube Removed a Compilation Video Exposing Alex Jones' Lies But Left His Propaganda Videos Up

The company cited "harassment."

Photo Credit: Media Matters for America

On April 17, two Sandy Hook families announced defamation lawsuits against conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. While Media Matters has long documented Jones’ claims that the 2012 mass shooting in Newtown, CT, was staged, upon hearing the news of the legal action, my colleague Leanne Naramore made a compilation video of some of Jones’ attacks, which a cursory search showed no one had done before. Watch:

At some point over the next five days, though, YouTube removed the video from its website. If you go to the link now, this is all you see:

Upon logging into the YouTube account, we were greeted with this message:

Yet here is a sampling of the Sandy Hook videos still live on Jones’ YouTube page, a number of which were used in making the compilation:

In February, Jones’ YouTube page was reportedly one strike away from being banned. Shortly thereafter, a large number of advertisers pulled their ads from his channel; President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee kept airing ads on it, though.

It is not clear why YouTube holds Alex Jones to a lower standard than it does other users. The Sandy Hook hoaxes are not the only example of harassment on his channel. It’s pervasive -- part of Jones’ entire brand.

Meanwhile, research shows that YouTube’s algorithm directs users towards videos like the ones Jones posts, which the site then profits from. And while Facebook has undergone significant scrutiny in recent weeks, YouTube has thus far escaped significant criticism. There’s no better time than the present to change that.

Don't let big tech control what news you see. Get more stories like this in your inbox, every day.

John Whitehouse is the Digital Director at Media Matters.