Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Twitter is not banning Alex Jones; Jack Dorsey explains why

Twitter is not banning Alex Jones; Jack Dorsey explains why

"We didn't suspend Alex Jones or Infowars yesterday", said Jack Dorsey on Twitter.

Infowars host Alex Jones has been booted off Facebook, Apple, Spotify, and YouTube for violating the companies' hate-speech guidelines.

YouTube's move of banning content by the United States conspiracy theorist Alex Jones comes days after Facebook, Apple and Spotify toughened their stand against the radio show host and banned him on their platforms. Dorsey's explanation, which elaborated on a short statement released by Twitter the day before, came under immediate criticism and renewed the debate over the parameters of hate speech and the responsibility of technology firms to regulate the flow of information while remaining neutral platforms.

USA radio host Alex Jones (C) uses a megaphone to speak to crowds near the Quicken Loans Arena, the venue for the 2016 Republican National Convention. He may have escaped a ban for not violating Twitter's policies, but Dorsey says: "we'll enforce if he does". "And we'll continue to promote a healthy conversational environment by ensuring tweets aren't artificially amplified". "That's not us", Dorsey wrote. Jones, the founder of InfoWars, is known for spreading far-right conspiracy theories, including saying that the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting was a hoax.

Twitter said it is standing by its decision not to ban accounts associated with right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, despite "outside pressure" for it to ban his content. We'll enforce if he does.

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Dorsey said that it's up to journalists to "document, validate, and refute" rumours and sensationalized issues spread by accounts like Jones's so "people can form their own opinions".

As of this writing, InfoWars is now the fourth most popular free app on the Apple App Store, beating CNN, the New York Times, Google News, HuffPost, and dozens of other mainstream news outlets. "This is what serves the public conversation best", Dorsey said. However, he tried to circumvent this ban by live streaming content on other platforms, leading the site to terminate his account permanently.

That may actually win it some support from liberals who detest Alex Jones but worry about the power of Google and Facebook to decide what is allowed on the internet.

Jones, who has 858,000 followers on Twitter, has built up his profile while promulgating conspiracy theories.

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