Here’s why Twitter isn’t banning Alex Jones

"We know that’s hard for many but the reason is simple: he hasn’t violated our rules."
August 8, 2018, 10:00am
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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey explained Tuesday why he won’t follow the other social networks and ban conspiracy theorist Alex Jones: “He hasn’t violated our rules.”

After Apple, Facebook, Google, Spotify and Pinterest all banned Jones this week, Twitter and its live streaming app Periscope have become key platforms for Jones and his Infowars network.

Yet according to Dorsey, the conspiracy nut is doing nothing to breach Twitter’s rules and will therefore not be removed.


“We didn’t suspend Alex Jones or Infowars yesterday,” Dorsey tweeted. “We know that’s hard for many but the reason is simple: he hasn’t violated our rules. We’ll enforce if he does. And we’ll continue to promote a healthy conversational environment by ensuring tweets aren’t artificially amplified.”

Dorsey then hit out at his Silicon Valley colleagues by saying Twitter would not simply make one-off decisions to make itself feel better while “adding fuel to new conspiracy theories.”

Those theories include claims from conservative voices that their is a coordinated effort by big tech companies to silence their voices online.

READ: Alex Jones has been banned from YouTube

The Twitter CEO also called on journalists to “document, validate, and refute” the unsubstantiated rumors spread by Infowars on Twitter, which include repeated claims that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax, that Democrats were planning to launch a civil war on July 4 this year, or that Barack Obama was the “global head of al-Qaeda.”

One journalist immediately responded to the Dorsey’s challenge:

Others pointed out that journalists don’t have time to fact-check all of Jones’ conspiracy theories:

Around the time Dorsey was defending his company’s decision, Jones posted a video on Twitter claiming his social media bans are part of an international conspiracy and decrying his removal as “election meddling” ahead of November’s midterms.

Apple, Facebook and YouTube all cited hate speech as justification for banning Jones. However, the Infowars content that breached those companies’ terms of use was not new, and Jones’ ban followed a concerted media campaign to have him ousted.

The same content has been shared on Twitter, but the company has so far refused to bend to peer pressure and remove his account.

Apple and Google were praised for their decisions to ice all Jones’ podcasts and videos from their networks. However, both have kept the Infowars app on their respective stores — which has shot up the rankings on both platforms in recent days.

The Infowars iOS app is now the third most popular news app, having been listed 47th just three days ago. On Android, the app jumped from 31st most popular to 11th.

Cover image: Conspiracy theorist, radio talk show host and founder Alex Jones walks up Elm Street past the spot where U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dealey Plaza in 1963 one day before commemorations of the 50th anniversary of the assassination in Dallas, Texas, U.S., November 21, 2013. (REUTERS/Jim Bourg/File Photo)