Last week, CNN discovered ads on Alex Jones’, the’owner of InfoWars,Youtube channel from companies and organizations such as Nike, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Network, the Mormon Church, Expedia, the NRA and ClassPass.
Quickly, Nike, Moen, Expedia, Acer, ClassPass, Honey, Alibaba and OneFamily all stopped their ads from airing on the page.
Alex Jones’ channel is known for conspiracy theory videos, including claims that the Sandy Hook mass shooting was a conspiracy theory.
Currently, companies can buy ad space on Youtube but they do not know exactly which videos their ads will end up on; however, there are filters to avoid placing ads on certain kinds of content.
Users can disable ads in the following categories: “Tragedy and Conflict,” “Sensitive Social Issues,” “Sexually Suggestive Content,” “Sensational & Shocking” and “Profanity & Rough Language.”
In an interview with CNN, a Nike spokesperson said they were “disturbed to learn that [Nike] appeared on [Alex Jones’ Channel].” Companies are now looking for an answer on how ads are selected to be put on videos.
Also, Alex Jones’ YouTube channel was frozen due to violations of YouTube’s community standards. On March 3, Jones tweeted that he thought the channel would be shut down.
The Alex Jones channel with billions of views is frozen. We have been told it will be deleted tomorrow and all 33 thousands videos will be erased. We just set up this new page subscribe if you want to see what the SPLC wants censored.. https://t.co/0sGkMNUCPt
— Alex Jones (@RealAlexJones) March 4, 2018
YouTube has a three-strike policy for videos that violate community standards. One of Jones’ videos that indicated that the Parkland shooting survivors were paid actors was removed.
YouTube’s community standards guidelines indicate that if an account receives more than one “strike” in a three-month period, it will not be able to post new content for the next two weeks.
However, if it receives two strikes in three months, the account will be terminated. This also means that Jones cannot just create a new account.
Yet, despite all this controversy, Jones’ YouTube channel remains up and running. The current front-page video is about the Florida shooting, and Jones is still making videos. In fact, his most recent videos were published three days ago.
Overall, Alex Jones’ YouTube channel is under extreme scrutiny from both advertisers and YouTube itself, while investors and advertisers are taking another look at YouTube and its ad policies, as well as considering what the future holds for the platform.