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TikTok bans InfoWars hosts—but these fringe figures remain

TikTok banned two prominent InfoWars personalities.

May 21, 2020, 8:27 am*

Tech

Zachary Petrizzo 

Zachary Petrizzo

Like the social media platforms that have come before it, as TikTok has grown in popularity, it’s faced thorny questions about free speech. Predominantly, whether they will allow white nationalist and conspiratorial content on its platform.

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In recent days, conspiracy theorist and InfoWars host Owen Shroyer‘s TikTok account was suspended. But an account with over 20,000 followers dedicated to posting videos of the host remains live.

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Another InfoWars host, David Knight, also had his account suspended on the increasingly popular platform, which hosts a wide range of videos, from dances to political discourse to pranks.

A TikTok spokesperson told the Daily Dot that Shroyer and Knight were banned for a violation of their “Community Guidelines.”

“We are committed to promoting a safe and positive app environment for our users. Our Community Guidelines outline behavior that is not acceptable on the platform, and we take action against behavior that violates those policies, including by removing content or accounts,” the statement stated.

InfoWars didn’t return a request for comment from the Daily Dot regarding its use of the platform.

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TikTok has been cracking down on hate speech in recent months.

Following the Daily Dot’s reporting on white nationalist Nick Fuentes, TikTok banned him from the platform, along with fellow far-right campus activists Jacob Lloyd and Jaden McNeil.

Fuentes, following his ban, launched a series of unsuccessful attempts to return and conduct live streams on TikTok with his followers, which failed.

The Daily Dot also learned that “Unite the Right” attendee and white nationalist Groyper Matthew Colligan (@zoomermatthew) had his TikTok account suspended recently.

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The “America First Hype House,” a page where white nationalists wanted to gather together online, has also been booted by TikTok.

However, despite the efforts, hate speech on the platform remains.

Those that still have accounts on TikTok include personalities such as far-right YouTube pundit Vincent James (@realvincentjames), white nationalist and neo-Nazi student organization leader Patrick Casey (@patrickcaseyusa), and white nationalist Canadian activist Faith Goldy (@faithgoldy).

Neo-Nazi personality Tim Gionet (@realbakedalaska), who more goes by the persona “Baked Alaska,” also remains on the platform.

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A TikTok spokesperson didn’t elaborate when asked by the Daily Dot on why some characters have been banned and other fringe personalities remain.

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*First Published: May 21, 2020, 7:00 am