Twitter Permanently Bans Alex Jones, InfoWars

By Dawn C. Chmielewski, Dade Hayes


Twitter permanently suspended far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from the platform, citing tweets and videos that violate the service’s ban on abusive behavior.

The decision comes a day after Jones accosted Sen. Marco Rubio outside the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing yesterday, crashing the Florida lawmaker’s press conference and denigrating the lawmaker as a “little frat boy” in video that was circulated on Twitter.

Another video shows Jones shouting at and berating CNN journalist Oliver Darcy for some 10 minutes outside the same Senate Intelligence Committee hearing concerning efforts by Facebook and Twitter to prevent foreign influence of their social media platforms during the midterm elections.

According to a report by NBC News, Jones may have brought on the ban by harassing Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who was testifying before the Senate committee as Jones sat in the front row. Other right-wing figures such as Chuck Johnson, Laura Loomer and Jack Posiebic also appeared with Jones, who live-streamed the session via Twitter’s video platform Periscope.

As Dorsey departed the building in Washington after his testimony, Jones followed him outside to his car and yelled at him, NBC said.

It’s unclear which was the last straw for Twitter, which was the last among the major technology platforms to give Jones the boot. Apple, Facebook, Google’s YouTube and Spotify had previously banned the provocateur, who peddles in discredited conspiracy theories including the false claim that the Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax, and the child victims were mere actors.

Twitter had previously suspended Jones for a week. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey called that a “time out,” to give Jones time to reflect on his conduct — namely, tweeting a link to a video where he appeared to incite violence against the media. Jones claimed his remarks, in which he urged supporters to get their “battle rifles ready,” was intended to warn his followers to prepare to defend themselves, not incite violence.

Dorsey is sensitive to charges that Twitter suppresses conservative voices, and even met privately this summer with key Republicans to assuage concerns about the tech platform censoring right-leaning tweets.

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