Conspiracy theorist and Donald Trump ally Alex Jones, who was one of the major proponents of the false “pizzagate” conspiracy theory, threatened to sue Facebook after the company announced new efforts to fight fake news.
BuzzFeed reported that Facebook will partner with organizations that have signed on with the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) fact-checkers’ code of principles to label false news stories on its network. The Associated Press, PolitiFact, FactCheck.org, Snopes, The Washington Post, and ABC News are the first organizations based in the United States that have agreed to the principles.
Jones, who has promoted numerous conspiracies and false stories including the claim that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were perpetrated by the U.S. government and the allegation that the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre was a hoax done with actors, attacked the announcement on his December 15 internet/radio show.
Running through several New York Times stories which he described as “fake news,” Jones threatened “to sue” Facebook if it allowed certain Times articles to remain active while “censoring” stories from Jones’ website Infowars. Jones also threatened to sue the fact-checking site Snopes for “their treacherous, tortuous interference and all the rest of it.” Snopes has repeatedly criticized Infowars for publishing false stories.
Jones described the initiative as a “blacklist” that would involve “burying news, like the communist Chinese do.” He said the announcement heralded “the end of free internet.”
Referencing the IFCN, Jones said international involvement meant “the U.N.’s involved now.” Jones also bizarrely claimed that the CIA is behind the Facebook decision and called on Trump to “unfund the CIA trying to run this.”
Business Insider reported that the program will begin with “a test with a small percentage of [Facebook] users” Jones responded by instructing his followers to "go on” and “create a fake liberal network” so Jones and his company can label outlets like CNN and MSNBC as “fake news.”
Jones was recently caught by Media Matters scrubbing his website of content promoting the false and dangerous conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton’s campaign trafficked children through a D.C. pizzeria (numerous pizzagate posts still remain on his website). The criminal complaint filed after a man fired an assault rifle in the pizzeria indicated that the suspect had recently shared a video created by Jones about the conspiracy.