Alex Jones and Infowars kicked off Twitter for good
Twitter Inc. permanently banned Alex Jones and his show Infowars Thursday, just a month after a Silicon Valley purge left the pugnacious agent provocateur with few places left to publish online.
Shortly after that, Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey explained that his platform was not following suit because Jones had not violated Twitter’s terms of service. Jones (pictured) then received a “timeout” from Twitter for entreating his readers to get their supposedly metaphorical “battle rifles” ready to fight mainstream media.
The straw that broke the camel’s back seemed to be a Periscope video of Jones verbally attacking CNN’s Oliver Darcy when the two met on Capitol Hill during this week’s trial of social media in front of Congress.
According to reports, Jones found Darcy outside a room where Dorsey was about to go in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. A 10-minute litany of abuse ensued, with Jones calling the reporter a “rat,” “the equivalent of like the Hitler Youth,” “a possum that crawled out of the rear end of a dead cow.” Just for good measure, Jones told the reporter he “looked evil.”
The contempt did not come out of nowhere. Following Twitter’s post-purge statement that Jones had not broken its rules, Darcey subsequently investigated and discovered it was actually untrue and Jones had transgressed a number of times.
“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,” Twitter said about the lifetime ban.
With the knowledge that such a ban will no doubt stir up controversy, as well as rankle and perhaps vindicate Jones’ fans, Twitter felt it necessary to explain itself further.
“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,” the company said. “We do not typically comment on enforcement actions we take against individual accounts, for their privacy.”
Twitter also added that it will keep an eye on other accounts posting content from Jones 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.”
Image: Sean P. Anderson via Flickr
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