Twitter revealed on Thursday that it has permanently banned the account of right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. The social media company also said that Jones’s far-right Infowars website will be banned from the platform. Twitter cited “abusive behavior” as the reason why this action was taken.
It looks like this decision was based on past violations. Until this ban, Jones had over 900,000 followers while Infowars had 430,000. He was accused by Twitter of posting a video that showed a heated confrontation between him and CNN reporter Oliver Darcy. Jones seemed to be insulting Darcy on the video. The right-wing populist later released a video on Infowars denouncing the ban. He claimed like he has done before that he’s being targeted for “telling the truth.”
The Twitter ban comes barely weeks after Jones was banned from three other major platforms. Google, Facebook, and YouTube announced a few weeks back that they had taken the decision to remove Jones from their platforms. Apple also followed suit saying that it will no longer allow the right-wing conspiracy theorist to post podcasts. Twitter appeared to be the only major social media company that was yet to take any actual action against Jones and his channel.
At one point, the Twitter CEO sent a tweet saying that the company had no intention in following in the steps of Facebook and Google to ban Jones. The tweet generated massive backlash from people who felt Jones was getting it easy. This pressure declined in mid-August when Twitter announced a temporary ban on Jones and his channel. The company said that the temporary ban was more like a warning while they investigated additional accusations over community rules violations.
The Twitter ban could significantly prove to be the beginning of the end for Jones‘s social media presence. Although the far-right conspiracy theorist still has his website up and running, he’s now technically removed from some of the biggest social media sites in the world. An analysis done by the New York Times captured the extent of this loss very well noting that even before the Twitter ban Jones had already lost nearly half of his following online.
The ban also comes just a day after GOP lawmakers in Washington grilled Twitter and its CEO for what they called “bias against conservative viewpoints.” Jones made a surprise appearance at the hearings too where he accused the social media companies for targeting him unfairly. Alex Jones is also facing a lawsuit from parents of the Sandy Hook Elementary School after claiming the deadly shooting that took place there back in 2012 was staged. Jones has always maintained that there’s an effort by social media companies to kill populist, nationalist, and conservative voices. This is also something that has been echoed by President Trump and a number of Republican lawmakers but so far it looks like it’s going to be a tough couple of months for Jones.