Twitter bars US conspiracy theorist

Apple, Facebook and Google's YouTube mostly barred Alex Jones, the Right-wing provocateur and creator of the conspiracy theorist website Infowars, last month for propagating hate speech. Twitter did not.

By Kate Conger and Jack Nicas
  • Published 8.09.18
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Alex Jones, Right-wing provocateur and creator of the conspiracy theorist website, Infowars

San Francisco: Apple, Facebook and Google's YouTube mostly barred Alex Jones, the Right-wing provocateur and creator of the conspiracy theorist website Infowars, last month for propagating hate speech. Twitter did not.

On Thursday, though, Twitter said it would permanently suspend Jones's account, as well as the account for Infowars. The social media company said Jones had posted messages within the previous 24 hours that violated its policies, which prohibit direct threats of violence and some forms of hate speech but allow deception or misinformation.

"Today, we permanently suspended @realalexjones and @infowars from Twitter and Periscope," the company posted on its Safety account. "We took this action based on new reports of Tweets and videos posted yesterday that violate our abusive behaviour policy, in addition to the accounts' past violations."

Twitter announced its decision after weeks of will-they-won't-they scrutiny on whether it would remove Jones and Infowars from its service.

When Facebook, Apple, YouTube and others took down Jones's content in early August, Twitter's chief executive, Jack Dorsey, said Jones's posts had not violated the company's policies.

That prompted criticism, since Jones has regularly spread lies, including that the Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax.

New York Times News Service