Conspiracy-monger Alex Jones and his Infowars media empire were kicked off Facebook, YouTube, Apple, Spotify, and even Pinterest in early August. Jones received the news by casting himself as a modern Antaeus, his strength growing with every apparent defeat.
"The more I'm persecuted, the stronger I get," Jones sputtered on his webcast shortly after the ban. "It backfired."
It did, but only briefly. While Jones' online platform experienced a brief surge of attention as the bans made headlines, since then, his online traffic has plunged. In the three weeks leading up to the bans, The New York Times reports, Infowars averaged about 1.4 million visitors and video views each day. Now that the digital dust has settled, that figure has halved, dropping to about 715,000 daily visits and views. (The analysis doesn't include traffic in the Infowars app or private Facebook groups Jones maintains.)
The shift "increases the likelihood Infowars is preaching to a filter bubble versus reaching new audiences," Monica Stephens, a University at Buffalo professor who has researched how misinformation spreads on the internet, told the Times.
Jones, however, is not one to let lemons go to waste, making social media a major new target of his ire. Silicon Valley, he said in a post-ban broadcast, is sucking up your personal information (true) including "you know, in the bathtub, Grandma" (uhhhh) and giving it to people like Democratic superdonor George Soros (huh?!) and "everybody's lining up to kiss these monsters' disgusting satanic souls." Goodness, maybe we should all quit Facebook.