Twitter finally takes action against Infowars’ Alex Jones

15 Aug 2018193 Views

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Twitter app open on a mobile device. Image: sattalat phukkum/Shutterstock

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Twitter was criticised for allowing Alex Jones to continue posting on the platform, but it has now cracked down on the conspiracy theorist.

 The ‘Alex Jones versus the internet’ battle has been ongoing for quite some time now. Bans from YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest and others have left Jones with a reduced audience.

Twitter had been an outlier in that respect, fielding a lot of criticism for this particular position.

Its CEO, Jack Dorsey, defended the company’s position earlier in August. “If we succumb and simply react to outside pressure, rather than straightforward principles we enforce (and evolve) impartially regardless of political viewpoints, we become a service that’s constructed by our personal views that can swing in any direction. That’s not us.”

Twitter reprimands Alex Jones

A few days later, the company has decided to take a tougher stance on Jones. The New York Times yesterday (14 August) reported that Jones is suspended from Twitter for a week.

The source said the ban is due to Jones tweeting a link to a video, imploring supporters to “get their battle rifles” ready to fight the media and other targets. If this is the reason, Twitter’s rules against the incitement of violence apply.

In essence, Jones’ account is still online but he is not allowed to tweet or retweet from it for seven days. While it stops short of a full ban, Jones remains in a ‘sin bin’ of sorts for the next week.

Violation of rules

Twitter had originally said that Jones and accounts associated with him had not violated its rules, but did vow to take action if there were any new incidents of him flouting the regulations.

While Jones is absent from a variety of platforms, both Google and Apple app marketplaces still host the Infowars app. Networks including Google Plus, Tumblr and Gab still have not placed restrictions or bans on his content.

The Infowars Twitter account was swift in reacting to Jones’ posting ban, tweeting: “@RealAlexJones is now in @Twitter prison!”

Twitter app open on a mobile device. Image: sattalat phukkum/Shutterstock

Ellen Tannam is a writer covering all manner of business and tech subjects

editorial@siliconrepublic.com