Twitter CEO defends decision not to ban Alex Jones, Infowars

by Abel Hampton August 9, 2018, 8:09
Twitter CEO defends decision not to ban Alex Jones, Infowars

Apple was the first major tech company to make a move against Alex Jones of InfoWars Sunday night by removing his podcast from iTunes.

The ban applied exclusively to Jones' personal account, not the one million-strong Infowars page, which Jones helms.

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Jones' Facebook account has also been suspended for 30 days but he still has a "verified" Twitter account.

As BuzzFeed's Charlie Warzel pointed out, Jones does use Twitter differently from the way he uses other social-media sites, posting less inflammatory content. Previously, Jones has claimed the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax set up by anti-gun activists, causing some of his disciples to threaten and harass victims' parents.

The companies that punished Jones said they did so because he violated their policies on hate speech. Dorsey suggested that although "accounts like Jones' can often sensationalize issues and spread unsubstantiated rumors", it is the responsibility of journalists to validate his claims "so people can form their own opinions". The social media site has been resolute in its failure to ban Jones; CEO Jack Dorsey maintains that Jones "hasn't violated our rules".

Infowars broke the app stores top 10 in the news category on Tuesday, edging out CNN, Fox News and The New York Times apps.

"Podcasts that violate these guidelines are removed from our directory making them no longer searchable or available for download or streaming". Jack Dorsey explained on Tuesday why both remain on the platform. "Twitter is reflective of real conversations happening in the world and that sometimes includes perspectives that may be offensive, controversial, and/or bigoted", the document read. Angry parents of the children killed in the massacre have since filed a lawsuit against him, but the tipping point for social media platforms seems to have been a broadcast in which Jones appeared to threaten Special Counsel Robert Mueller while addressing the Russian Federation investigation.

Dorsey said he wanted Twitter to avoid succumbing to outside pressure but instead impartially enforce straightforward principles "regardless of political viewpoints".


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