Infowars Said YouTube Ban Would Make It Stronger. Actually, It’s Been Crushed.
Two weeks after getting kicked off most major social platforms, Alex Jones’ empire is gasping for air. One bright spot? Twitter.
Infowars host Alex Jones is struggling to replace the audience he lost after being banned from YouTube, according to viewership totals published on the video sites still willing to host him.
Jones and his allies initially reacted to Infowars being banned from Facebook, YouTube, iTunes, and a host of other tech platforms in early August by claiming that the bans would only draw more attention to Infowars. After the bans, the Infowars app surged in both the Apple and Google app stores, nearly reaching the top of Apple’s “news” category. Infowars cited the app’s growing popularity as proof that the conspiracy outlet could outwit “globalist tech gatekeepers.”
Two weeks later, though, the Infowars app is set to slip out of the top 30 news apps, and Infowars is nowhere near replacing its lost YouTube viewership.
Infowars currently hosts its videos on Real.Video, a niche video hosting site that promises that content on the platform is “protected under free speech” and prominently features other channels promoting militias or dubious nutrition ideas. Infowars videos on Real.Video regularly receive only a few hundred or thousand views.
By comparison, Infowars posts on YouTube regularly received at least five figures in terms of viewership. Infowars videos on YouTube earned more than 500,000 views a day on average, according to social-media analytics site SocialBlade, while Infowars’ main YouTube channel received more than 17 million views in the 30 days before its ban.
While Jones still has other ways to reach his viewers, including his website and his radio show, the dismal viewership figures suggest that the YouTube ban has seriously cut into his reach. Without access to his YouTube audience, Jones will find it harder both to spread his false claims, like his allegation that parents whose children were killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting are crisis actors, and to sell the nutritional supplements that help fund his conspiracy empire.
Real.Video and Infowars didn’t respond to requests for comment from The Daily Beast.
Infowars videos aren’t doing any better on Bitchute, another would-be YouTube rival that has become a go-to refuge for right-wing media figures banned from YouTube.
Infowars has urged its fans to check out Jones’ videos on Bitchute, but most of the recent Infowars videos on Bitchute have have received paltry viewership numbers, with many of them less than 100 views. Meanwhile, even the most popular Infowars videos posted on the site are all at less than 10,000 views, which would have been a terrible performance for even a minor Infowars clip posted to YouTube.
The only platform where Jones still pulls in significant viewership numbers is also the last remaining major social-media site that hasn’t banned him: Twitter. Infowars videos posted to Twitter regularly pull in tens of thousands of views, although other videos also earned roughly that amount before Jones was banned from YouTube, suggesting no significant jump in viewership after the ban.