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Twitter bans Alex Jones and Infowars

by admin on 18/06/2019

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones had around 90,000 followers on Twitter.Twitter is permanently banning US right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his Infowars show for abusive behaviour.
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The company said Jones won’t be able to create new accounts on Twitter or take over any existing ones. Twitter said Jones posted a video on Wednesday that violates the company’s policy against “abusive behaviour.”

The video in question showed Jones shouting at and berating CNN journalist Oliver Darcy for some 10 minutes in between two congressional hearings focused on social media.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testified at both hearings, but did not appear to witness the confrontation.

Jones had about 900,000 followers on Twitter. Infowars had about 430,000.

Twitter had previously suspended Jones for a week. But until now it had resisted muzzling Jones further. Other tech companies have limited Jones by suspending him for longer periods, as Facebook did, and by taking down his pages and radio stations.

Jones heckled Darcy in a public hallway where reporters were waiting to enter the House committee room. He criticised the journalist’s reporting and appearance, referencing his “skinny jeans” and repeatedly saying, “just look at this guy’s eyes” and “look at that smile”.

At one point, he said Darcy was “smiling like a possum that crawled out of the rear end of a dead cow. That’s what you look like. You look like a possum that got caught doing some really nasty stuff – in my view. You’re a public figure too.”

Darcy has aggressively questioned social media companies about the forbearance they showed Jones, asking why they have allowed him to remain on their platforms for as long as they have.

Jones is currently active on Facebook; his suspension there recently expired. It did not immediately respond to a message asking whether it would also ban Jones.

Apple, YouTube and Spotify also permanently removed material Jones had published.

But critics warned there is another side to high-profile cases such as this one.

“We should be extremely careful before rushing to embrace an internet that is moderated by private companies by default,” said David Greene, civil liberties director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation in an email last month.

While high-profile cases of highly offensive content being taken down gets a lot of attention, he added, content moderation “continues to silence” the voices of people around the world struggling to be heard.

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