What is the advertising value of a ban?

Banned

In a recent case of private companies exercising their right to de-platform voices they disagreed with, the controversial Alex Jones and his Infowars content was banned from various social media sites.  They included YouTube, Facebook, iTunes, Google Podcast, Spotify, iHeartRadio, MailChimp, Disqus, LinkedIn, Flickr, Pinterest and several others.

The curious thing is that these different organisations all chose to exercise their legal right not to host Alex and the Infowars content contemporaneously. Does this prove there is an ‘Info War’? Was it a coordinated takedown and thus some form of restrictive trade practice?  Zerohedge has the story. Quote.

Silicon Valley’s coordinated purge of all things Infowars from social media has had an unexpected result; website traffic to Infowars.com has soared in the past week, according to Amazon’s website ranking service Alexa. […]

Reuters Top News tweeted “Facebook, Apple, YouTube and Spotify take down Alex Jones content.”

Jones’ popular supplements were even stripped of their “Amazon’s Choice” tags on the website:

That said, Google and Apple are still allowing people to access Infowars content via apps, which have seen their downloads spike as well.

Consumers still can access InfoWars through the same tech companies that just banned it. Google still offers the Infowars app for Android users, and Apple customers can download it through the App Store.

As of Friday, the show’s phone app remained near the top of the charts in both the Apple App and Google Play stores. Infowars Official, an app that lets viewers stream Jones’ shows and read news of the day, was ranked fourth among trending apps in the Google Play store Friday. In the news category on Apple’s App Store, Infowars earned the fourth slot under the top free apps, behind Twitter and News Break, a local and breaking news service, revealing a sudden boost of user downloads. -American Statesman

What’s more, Jones says that 5.6 million people subscribed to the Infowars newsletter within 48 hours of his YouTube ban, according to the Daily Mail.

What’s more he claims the publicity surrounding the action taken by the likes of YouTube, Facebook and Apple – who have blocked his content and removed his channels – has gained him millions of subscribers – not lost him followers. […]

“Because I play devil’s advocate, because I play both sides, they’ve taken me out of context, they are using me as a test case to try to bring an EU style web censorship,” Jones said. “They’ve got mainline Democratic senators saying they ought to restrict Fox News, Tucker Carlson, Matt Drudge, the President himself. They are misrepresenting what I’ve said and done and are using that to set a precedent for internet wide de-platforming, censorship beyond what Russia does, what China does, ahead of the midterms (election). The whole thing is fake.”

Looking at Infowars’ stats, a little over 10% of their pre-ban traffic in July came from social media, with Facebook about half of that. Which likely means that Jones will survive as most of his traffic is direct, as users access the site via typing it into the URL bar or click on a bookmark, instead of coming through search engines.

In terms of dollars and cents, the website Social Blade estimates that over the last 30 days, the Infowars YouTube channel received a little over 17 million views. With average YouTube ad revenue is around $2 per 1,000 clicks, and InfoWars undoubtedly demonetized for much of that, YouTube’s decision to ban Jones and his channels cost the Infowars enterprise up to $400,000.

Meanwhile, a flood of new traffic has been driven to Infowars.com, which is probably paying a much higher [cost per thousand clicks]. It’s entirely possible that if the newfound site visitors stick around, Jones would end up more profitable than before he was blacklisted. End of quote.

Paging Barbra Streisand, paging Barbra Streisand – please report to the Infowars Desk.


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WH is a pale, stale, male who does not believe all the doom and gloom climate nonsense so enjoys generating CO2 that the plants need to grow by driving his MG.

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