Facebook announced the removal of 22 more pages related to conspirator Alex Jones. The spaces were not managed directly by him but were linked to the ideas made by the creator of Infowars. The bans are related to new measures implemented in January by Facebook, which has closed the siege on banned users who try to manipulate the system to extend the reach of their publications.
Originally, administrators banned from the social network because they were against the company’s policies were already prohibited from creating new pages with the same themes. With the January update, they too can no longer transform old spaces and modify titles, images and topics covered in them, a practice widely used by those who knew they were going against the rules. The creation of backups was common and, in January, was addressed directly by Facebook.
Bans linked to Jones and Infowars are part of a total of 89 pages taken from the air this week by the social network, all for the same violation. The news also marks the first time the company has applied the new rules on a large scale since their implementation in late January, but as usual, without giving much detail on what led to the identification of administrators and their spaces as similar to others already banned.
Among the most famous conspiracy theories promoted by Alex Jones is the idea that the Sandy Hook massacre would have been carried out by hired actors and accusations that Hollywood and Washington’s elite would be responsible for administering paedophile circles. In August, when he banned the Infowars and related pages, Facebook associated such allegations with escalating abuse and actual violence.
Similar titles and posts, as well as abrupt changes in content and themes reported by users, however, are among the devices used by the social network to identify this type of behaviour. The idea is that those caught would be using pages with high numbers of followers to recover part of their reach, lost after a large ban in August when Infowars was swept from the social network.
This act also served as a measure to identify the removals now. According to Facebook, while Jones was not the administrator of the 22 spaces removed from the air, others responsible for them were linked to the pages banned in August, which caused everyone to enter the fine comb of the social network, which actively seeks irregularities and manipulations of its rules.
Although he did not speak in specific numbers, Facebook also said that the more than 80 pages removed came from only two countries: the United States and Brazil. The identities of those responsible, titles and themes of spaces removed from the air were also not revealed by the company.