Tweets from Alex Jones and Infowars disappear from Twitter

10 Aug 2018

Infowars website open in an internet browser window. Image: Sharaf Maksumov/Shutterstock

Several posts from Alex Jones and Infowars are pulled from Twitter as the platform receives more criticism.

The storm of controversy around Alex Jones and Twitter continues to rage.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey recently defended the company’s position on allowing controversial figure Alex Jones and his website, Infowars, to remain on the site.

Disappearing tweets

On 9 August, some content posted by Jones and Infowars vanished from the platform.

The removed posts reportedly include a video where Jones likened David Hogg, a Parkland shooting survivor to members of the Nazi Party. Another video targeted transgender Americans.

The content was removed following a report from CNN. Journalists unearthed examples of tweets that appeared to violate Twitter’s terms of service. These included tweets targeting Muslims and harassing individuals.

A spokesperson for Twitter told CNN that the content has likely been pulled off the platform by Jones or someone with access to the accounts in question.

What are the rules on Twitter?

Twitter’s rules say: “You may not engage in the targeted harassment of someone, or incite other people to do so.

“We consider abusive behaviour an attempt to harass, intimidate, or silence someone else’s voice.”

Twitter also does not allow “hateful conduct” or the harassment of people “on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability or serious disease”.

It also proscribes the promotion of violence against these groups and does not tolerate content that “degrades” people.

On 8 August, Dorsey appeared on the Sean Hannity radio show. On air, he said that free expression was a major point of importance for the company. He also noted the need to tackle “bad faith” actors.

Jones sent a video message to Dorsey on Twitter on 8 August, in which he said: “The mere fact that you are saying you are standing up for [free speech] is a good thing. And you’re being attacked so I’m glad you’ve doubled down at least for now.”

The Verge reported that Twitter safety chief Del Harvey posted an internal memo to staff, which became available online during the week.

Harvey noted while the content violates Twitter rules at present, it was not violating rules in place at the time.

She said that a new rule around “dehumanising” others will affect Jones in future. Harvey added that policy concerning bad behaviour outside of the platform is up for review by mid-September.

Infowars website open in an internet browser window. Image: Sharaf Maksumov/Shutterstock

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects