The Future

Google is still hawking Infowars snake oil

YouTube has started taking down Alex Jones videos and pulling advertisers who have objected to him, but Google itself is happy to keep making money from him.

The Future

“The real red pill”

The Future

Google is still hawking Infowars snake oil

YouTube has started taking down Alex Jones videos and pulling advertisers who have objected to him, but Google itself is happy to keep making money from him.

Notorious conspiracy site Infowars claimed this weekend that Google is engaged in “an unprecedented attack” against it. But if Google is really trying to sever ties, it’s not trying very hard — Google Shopping, the web giant’s commerce arm, is still helping Infowars flog a variety of vitamins and supplements, a deal from which both parties would continue to make money.

There’s Brain Force Plus, the “next generation of advanced neural activation and nootropics,” and BodEase, which promises to “support your flexibility, mobility, joint function, immune system and even more.” There’s even, in a nod to the site’s conspiratorial worldview, The Real Red Pill, which supports “healthy aging and cognitive function.”

The feud started after the Parkland, FL massacre, when the Google-owned YouTube removed an Infowars video claiming the survivors of the shooting were “crisis actors.” Then advertisers including Nike, Acer, and Expedia realized their ads were running on Infowars videos and asked YouTube not to show their commercials on Infowars content.

Infowars publisher Alex Jones soon waded into the controversy, claiming that YouTube planned to shut down his channel entirely this past weekend. Google denied the claim, and as of press time the channel is still up.

In reality, Google has never been an enthusiastic content cop. YouTube removes videos only when there’s a copyright violation or a near-universal outcry, as with Logan Paul’s clip that mocked a suicide victim.

Maybe Google Shopping can at least point buyers toward a better bargain. Last year, BuzzFeed sent a variety of Infowars supplements to a lab, which found that most are little more than overpriced — and likely ineffective — blends of vitamins and minerals.

Jon Christian is a contributing writer to the Outline. Follow him on Twitter: @Jon_Christian.
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