Twitter Permanently Bans Right-Wing Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones

The move comes a day after Jones harassed a reporter and accosted a senator.

Jones was in D.C. yesterday attending Congressional hearings on social media.Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Newscom via ZUMA

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Twitter has permanently banned right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, along with the official account of his website Infowars, the social media company announced Thursday. The action came a day after Jones posted a video taken outside of a congressional hearing where he berated CNN reporter Oliver Darcy, mocking his appearance and calling him “fake news.” That same day, Jones had accosted Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) during a break of the Senate Intelligence Committee hearings where Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg testified. 

Twitter said the actions by Jones and Infowars on both Twitter and Periscope, the live-streaming app owned by Twitter, on Wednesday violated its abusive behavior policy. Twitter said it would also “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.”

Before Thursday, Twitter had temporarily suspended Jones from the platform for his incendiary tweets. Both Facebook and YouTube have already banned his content after pressure from activist groups and lawmakers. Jones is best known for promoting conspiracy theories. He has called the parents of children murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School and survivors of the Parkland shooting “crisis actors.”

Jones’ verbal attack on Darcy, which was witness by Mother Jones, appeared to be motivated by the reporter’s history of providing Twitter with tweets by Jones and Infowars that were in clear violation of the sites terms of service

Jones is not the first right-wing figure to be banned from the social-networking platform. In May 2015, the site banned former Breitbart reporter Chuck Johnson after he appeared to be soliciting donations to “take out” civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson. A year later, it banned right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos for leading a harassment campaign against actress Leslie Jones. 

In addition to Alex Jones, both Johnson and former Project Veritas member Laura Loomer attended yesterday’s House hearing on political bias in social media. Loomer was escorted out of the hearing by police after interrupting the hearing, accusing Twitter of coordinating the suppression of conservatives ahead of the midterm elections.

But in front of Congress, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey vehemently denied that the site discriminated based on “political ideology.” Conservatives had accused Twitter of “shadow banning” them by suppressing their accounts in search results. Dorsey said there had been no shadow ban and that any suppressed search results were due to a technical error that affected 600,000 users. 

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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