Just a day after he sat in the audience while Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testified to the Senate about allegations of anti-conservative bias on major tech platforms, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his Infowars website have been permanently banned from Twitter and Periscope.
The ban was a direct result of Jones’s behavior at the hearing — specifically, a series of tweets linking to a video of Jones and his camera crew harassing CNN reporter Oliver Darcy, calling him “the equivalent of, like, the Hitler Youth.”
Today, we permanently suspended @realalexjones and @infowars from Twitter and Periscope. We took this action based on new reports of Tweets and videos posted yesterday that violate our abusive behavior policy, in addition to the accounts’ past violations. https://t.co/gckzUAV8GL— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) September 6, 2018
In a statement to BuzzFeed News, a spokesperson for Twitter said:
Today, we permanently suspended @realalexjones and @infowars from Twitter and Periscope. We took this action based on new reports of Tweets and videos posted yesterday that violate our abusive behavior policy, in addition to the accounts’ previous violations.
As we continue to increase transparency around our Rules and enforcement actions, we wanted to be open about this action given the broad interest in this case. We do not typically comment on enforcement actions we take against individual accounts, for their privacy. We will continue to evaluate reports we receive regarding other accounts potentially associated with @realalexjones or @infowars and will take action if content that violates our Rules is reported or if other accounts are utilized in an attempt to circumvent their ban.
Twitter follows Facebook, Apple, YouTube, and Spotify in either banning or suspending Jones and Infowars from posting content on their platforms after repeated violations of their rules against posting hate speech or violent and hateful content. Those decisions caused somewhat of a backlash among some conservatives, who have argued that banning Jones restricts the conspiracy theorist’s right to free speech.
Jones is also in the midst of multiple lawsuits: He is currently being sued by the families of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting because he’s said on his program that the shooting was a hoax and accused the parents of victims of being actors. In addition, a man who was present at the alt-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last August whom Jones and Infowars have falsely accused of “orchestrating” the event is also suing Jones for defamation.