Facebook isn’t done with Alex Jones just yet.
Facebook has removed 22 Pages that the company says are connected to Alex Jones, the outspoken founder of the conspiracy-theory website Infowars.
You may remember that Facebook banned four Pages run by Jones and Infowars back in August — other tech companies like Twitter and Spotify did as well. Now Facebook says it’s removing more accounts as a result of a policy change it announced in late January.
The policy Facebook is pointing to here is its “recidivism policy,” which bans users who are removed from Facebook from making new accounts or Pages that are similar in name or appearance to the Page that was removed. In other words, when Jones’s Pages were banned in August, he couldn’t simply create a new “Alex Jones” Page and start over.
Until January, that policy only applied to newly created accounts, Facebook said. Which means that while Jones couldn’t necessarily create a new Page that looked similar to the one that was suspended, he could still use existing Pages that looked similar to those that Facebook suspended.
Now Facebook says it’s closing that loophole — and removing 22 Alex Jones-related Pages in the process.
“We updated this policy because we saw people working to get around our previous recidivism policy by using existing Pages that they already manage for the same purpose as the Page we had removed for violating our Community Standards,” a Facebook spokesperson explained in an email to Recode on Tuesday.
These Pages didn’t necessarily share posts or videos that violated Facebook’s content policies. Instead, Facebook says it can now remove these Pages for simply having “similar titles to the Pages we unpublished and [for] having the same admins,” the Facebook spokesperson added.
All 22 Pages Facebook removed Tuesday share admins with four Jones-related Pages Facebook removed in August.