Laura Loomer, Alex Jones continue to spread hate on Instagram despite being banned elsewhere

Alex Jones in Dallas, Texas. Image by Sean P. Anderson, license Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

It’s been a busy 24 hours for Muslim-hating conspiracy theorists Alex Jones and Laura Loomer. Both posted videos on their Instagram accounts that violate the social media giant’s hate speech and bullying content policies, Media Matters for America (MMFA) reports. Facebook and Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) recently introduced a new policy that purportedly bans “praise, support, and representation of white nationalism and white separatism.”

But that’s all just fancy words, Motherboard notes. The ban only applies if white nationalism and white separatism are explicitly mentioned. It doesn’t apply to content that features “implicit and coded white nationalism and white separatism.”

All the ban did is make it easier for prominent white nationalist accounts to use the platform to make their bigotry more palatable in order to promote it.

Loomer, permanently banned from Twitter due to her relentless attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), recently set her Instagram account to private. Due in part, perhaps, to these attacks. On Wednesday she singled the Muslim congresswoman out on Instagram once again, ranting about a speech Omar made last month and incorrectly taking the words out of context.

Calling Islam “a cancer,” (twice), she also said, “Muslims should not be allowed to seek positions of political office in this country.”

“I just have to say that I truly hate Ilhan Omar. I think she is a despicable human being because how evil and deranged do you have to be to describe 9/11 as ‘something that some people did.’? Yeah, b*tch, it’s something that your people did. Are you guys enjoying your first Muslim congresswoman?”

But Loomer wasn’t content to stop there.

“It’s almost as if everything I told you about this lady was completely true. She hates the Jews. She hates the gays. And she thinks that 9/11, aka an act of Islamic terrorism, is something that she could just make light of — something that we don’t need to talk about because it’s just something that some people did. Well you know what you guys, no one is going to say this on TV, because unfortunately, the Muslims have totally hijacked our media institutions.”

Further, she added, this has pushed Fox News to censor its anchors.

“And even Fox News is now putting a muzzle on their hosts and their contributors who are not allowed to speak truth about Islam. But the truth is, is that Islam is a cancer on society. Islam is a cancer on humanity, and Muslims should not be allowed to seek positions of political office in this country.It should be illegal.” 

The Daily Beast reports that an Instagram spokesperson that Loomer’s post violated the company’s policy on hate speech, which prohibits attacks on people due to their religion. But rather than ban Loomer over her story as Twitter has done, it will ban accounts that repeatedly violate the rules.

Then there’s Alex Jones. Sure he’s been banned by Facebook and Twitter, but his white nationalist, anti-LGBTQ, and conspiracy theory Infowars videos are “a cancer” on Instagram.

Like Loomer, he also posted a hateful video on Instagram — one that promoted the white nationalist campaign “It’s Okay To Be White.”

In the video, a man who is part of the “Infowars Army,” repeatedly harasses a woman, asking her “if it’s okay to be white. When the woman becomes upset, someone behind the camera tells her to “jump off the bridge.” The call encouraging her to self-harm violates Instagram’s community guidelines. Those guidelines prohibit content that calls for violence and self-harm.

When the woman reveals her family is from Mexico, the man who harassed her called her “one of the least brown-looking Mexican people [he’s] ever seen.”

As you can see, this video is horribly obnoxious and offensive. But then so is Alex Jones. He’s spread conspiracy theories that have led to great harm for victims of mass shootings, targeted Muslims whenever possible, and stigmatized those of us who are for gun control.

And by not banning people like Jones and Loomer, Instagram is pushing their hate forward.

Featured image by Image by Sean P. Anderson, license Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons