After weeks of waffling, even when facing peer pressure from other social media platforms, Twitter has finally decided to give conspiracy theorist Alex Jones the boot. Jones had been suspended from Twitter for posting yet another “story” about a supposed false flag operation… or at least a potential false flag operation. He was not banned at that time, though. Now, things are different.
InfoWars is officially banned as of last week. In announcing the change of position regarding Jones, 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…”
The social network also promised to “take action” if any other accounts are found to be trying to get around the ban. While Twitter claims the InfoWars account was found to have violated its policy, others have said the ban action was taken after Jones used Twitter-owned Periscope to film himself going after CNN reporter, Oliver Darcy.
The confrontation with Darcy came just after the much-publicized run-in with Senator Marco Rubio, in which Jones teased Rubio about calling security, and Rubio said there would be need, that he would take care of (Jones) himself.
The confrontation with Darcy had a bit of a personal flavor to it. That’s not surprising, considering that Darcy has been openly critical of tech companies and social media outlets for continuing to allow Jones to have a voice on their platform that he uses to spread universally debunked conspiracy theories.
One story, in particular, resonates with this latest change. When Twitter announced previously that Jones would not be banned because he had not yet violated their rules, it was Darcy’s reporting that uncovered a series of tweets that violated Twitter’s regulations and rules. That sort of reporting was clearly responsible for Jones getting banned, because it created a PR issue for Twitter with one obvious solution: get rid of Jones.
During the argument, Jones continued to yell at Darcy, insulting him personally as well as his reporting. With Jones, that kind of rude spectacle is part and parcel to how he builds and entertains his audience, so it was really nothing new. But the outburst did create dueling narratives for fans and foes of Jones.
Fans of Jones cheered his “takedown” of the CNN reporter, while supporters of the InfoWars social media ban used the tirade as yet another example of why Jones should not be allowed to enjoy a bigger platform.