It’s been a wild week for InfoWars’s DC bureau chief Jerome Corsi. On Tuesday, Corsi, a proponent of the QAnon and Obama birther conspiracies, was riding high after being printed in USA Today, the country’s highest-circulating paper. Today, he was kicked off YouTube for life.
Terminations usually require three “strikes,” each strike removing features from a channel and putting it in worse standing until they resolve several months later, assuming no further strikes are given. Irate tweets since his termination include a screenshot showing Corsi received his first two strikes—both for harassment and/or bullying—on the 20th and 26th of this month. We’ve reached out to YouTube for information on what the final straw was.
The channel, which had amassed around 30,000 subscribers, has been wiped clean, its content replaced with a small red termination notice. The removal appears to be for keeps as well. As opposed to suspensions, parent company Google’s rules outline the repercussions of terminations as the following (emphasis ours):
Users whose accounts have been terminated are prohibited from accessing, possessing, or creating any other Google Accounts. When an account is terminated, the account owner receives an email detailing the reason for the termination.
Corsi’s ban reads as a prelude to a possible termination for InfoWars’s entire YouTube presence. Videos attacking or undermining the credibility of Parkland shooting victims have put two strikes on that channel, leading many to speculate the conspiracy operation run by Alex Jones may not have long left on the internet’s largest video-sharing site, though for the time being two biggest channels associated with InfoWars, Alex Jones (2.2m subscribers) and editor-at-large Paul Joseph Watson (1.1m subscribers), remain accessible.
Per the Daily Mail, two former InfoWars employees said this week that Jones himself committed workplace transgressions against them. In response Jones said, “my feelings are hurt”and called the employees’ claims “total bullshit.”
For now, Corsi will have to content himself with his 100,000+ followers on Twitter, a website notoriously bad at fighting harassment and misinformation.
Update 3/2/18 2:42pm: Though it’s not clear at this time why, the termination notice has been removed from Jerome Corsi’s channel. At this time two videos—one from three days ago, and another from May of 2010—have reappeared, along with what seems to be all of his previous subscribers.
YouTube has not replied to repeated requests for comment.
Corsi has claimed to be moving his videos to troll-friendly social network Gab, and is using his brief takedown as an opportunity to accuse Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt of being a “spook,” as one does.