Update (8/2/21): Following the publication of this article, the “BANNED.video” channel was removed from Roku.
Infowars has launched another channel on the streaming platform Roku, which previously banned the conspiracy theory outlet from its platform.
The Roku channel, called “BANNED.video” -- the same name as Infowars’ streaming platform -- is listed on Roku’s site under the category “News & Weather.” The description says it was developed by Infowars head Alex Jones’ company Free Speech Systems.
Roku banned Infowars from its platform in 2019, soon after the outlet’s channel launched there, with Roku saying it made the decision after hearing from “concerned parties.”
Nevertheless, the new BANNED.video Roku channel -- which Infowars has promoted online -- openly hosts videos that are listed under the names of Infowars programs The Alex Jones Show and War Room and that feature videos and clips from the outlet. Some of these videos contain misinformation and conspiracy theories about vaccines, such as “VAERS Website Goes Offline After COVID Vaccine Deaths Skyrocket” and “Who are the Globalist Vampires Spreading Covid Virus Fear to Submit the Public?” The channel also features full episodes of War Room and fellow Infowars show The American Journal, including one which accuses the Justice Department of rolling out “Mark of the Beast” vaccine mandates.
The channel’s launch comes as Roku has repeatedly struggled to enforce its rules against harmful misinformation. Despite prohibiting content that could “incite violence, place individuals or groups in imminent harm” or is “otherwise unlawful or encouraging of illegal activity,” and disallowing content that contains “false, irrelevant or misleading information,” the platform took down an entire channel dedicated to the QAnon conspiracy theory only after reporting came out from Media Matters. Multiple other QAnon-affiliated channels (at least one of which is run by a QAnon influencer who participated in part of the insurrection at the United States Capitol on January 6) remain on the platform, as does a channel for known anti-vax figure Del Bigtree.