Flo Read spoke to director Alex Lee Moyer about the suppression of her film
Infowars’ Alex Jones, described by The Southern Poverty Law Center as ‘one of the most prolific and influential conspiracy theorists in contemporary America,’ has long been the subject of controversy — and a social media ban.
When Facebook removed him in 2018, they stated that he both glorified violence, ‘which violates our graphic violence policy’ and uses ‘dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies.’
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But what was not clear until this week is that the social networks now seem to have banned all discussion of him, however critical.
Alex Lee Moyer is an acclaimed documentary filmmaker whose films have appeared at Sundance and SWSX festivals. Her latest movie — made with independent production company Play Nice — is called Alex’s War. It is an investigation of Alex Jones, but despite it only being on only out on pre-sale, she has already found that her attempts to market the film have been blocked by the social media giants because of the controversial subject matter.
According to Play Nice, when the team first released the documentary trailer, they were blocked by Instagram from adding paid promotion of it. Even posts screenshotting a Washington Post article that mentioned Alex’s War was rejected. They were informed they were being rejected to ‘protect our community.’
While there may be a prosaic explanation for this (too many people logged in from too many devices), the same cannot be said for TikTok, which took down the trailer because it deemed the video to contain ‘hateful behaviour’.
Instagram’s parent company Meta, followed a similar path. The company explained that the trailer for the movie could not be advertised because of ‘inauthentic behavior or violations of our Advertising Policies and Community Guidelines’. It is unclear which one of Facebook’s advertising policies the video fell foul of.
Elsewhere on Google Ads, the team was told that it was completely banned for ‘being in violation of our Google ad policies’, with a strict warning not to create another. That also means that Play Nice cannot promote the trailer on YouTube, which got 25k views on its first day, before mysteriously flatlining over the following two weeks.
Lee Moyer told UnHerd that her attempt was to grapple with, and authentically portray, the Alex Jones phenomenon.
“My goal is to create work that authentically reflects this moment we are living in. That’s what people are craving right now. So, they can ban this film, block it, misrepresent it, but at the end of the day everyone is gonna see it,” she said.