Twitter suspends Alex Jones for a weekAugust 15, 2018
Twitter has temporarily suspended the account of Alex Jones after the conspiracy theorist tweeted a link to a video calling on supporters to get their “battle rifles” ready and prepare to “act on the enemy.” The video, posted by Jones to live-streaming site Periscope, which is also owned by Twitter, reportedly broke the company’s rules against inciting violence.
The suspension will last seven days, according to The New York Times, and is the strongest censure of Jones yet by the microblogging site. For the duration of the suspension Jones’ account will be in “read-only” mode. He’ll be able to access the account, but won’t be able to tweet, retweet, or favorite others’ posts. Accounts run by Jones and his colleagues for conspiracy site InfoWars are unaffected by the suspension.
The news comes after a string of online bans for Jones. Over the past few weeks, companies including Apple, Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, and Vimeo have all taken down content created by Jones and InfoWars, or banned his accounts outright. In most cases, Jones was banned for hate speech against minorities or inciting violence.
Up until now Twitter has been a notable hold-out. The company, which once described itself as the “free speech wing of the free speech party,” has admitted that Jones has violated its rules multiple times, but, for poorly-defined reasons, has preferred to avoid the responsibility of enforcing its own policy.
Last week in a series of tweets, Twittery CEO Jack Dorsey defended the platform’s decision to allow Jones to continue posting. “We didn’t suspend Alex Jones or Infowars yesterday,” said Jones. “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.”
This line has apparently been crossed, but the affects of this suspension are still limited. Although unable to post under his own name, Jones has simply switched to his @infowars account, sharing a video where he said censorship of his videos would only increase his support. “This is a very positive thing that’s happening,” said Jones. “We’re going to win.”