Twitter permanently bans Alex Jones and Infowars

Screenshot by Joan E. Solsman/Techhnews

Alex Jones’s expulsion from the biggest social networks of the English-speaking internet appears complete. 

Twitter said in a series of tweets Thursday that it was banning the primary accounts of the right-wing firebrand and his media outlet Infowars, which are known for spreading virulent conspiracy theories. The ban includes both Twitter itself and Periscope, the live streaming app owned by the company. The company said the terminated accounts violated its abusive behavior policy.

Screenshot by Techhnews

“Today, we permanently suspended @realalexjones and @infowars from Twitter and Periscope,” the Twitter Safety account said in a tweet. “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’ past violations.”

It comes after Facebook and Google’s YouTube kicked the primary accounts off their platforms last month, which came amid a wave of suspensions by Apple’s iTunes, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Vimeo and Spotify. At the time, Twitter suspended Jones for a week by putting his account in a read-only mode, meaning he could see the tweets of other, but not tweet, retweet or like posts.

Dorsey appeared on conservative commentator Sean Hannity’s radio show last month to argue that InfoWars hadn’t violated Twitter’s rules. “We’ll enforce if he does,” Dorsey said at the time. “And we’ll continue to promote a healthy conversational environment by ensuring tweets aren’t artificially amplified.”

A representative for Jones and Infowars didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment. 

Twitter didn’t immediately respond to further questions about the ban, other than pointing to its original statement on the Twitter Safety account. 

But an Infowars video posted on Twitter of Jones insulting CNN reporter Oliver Darcy on Wednesday was the final violation of the company’s terms, according to statements from Twitter given to The Daily Beast and Buzzfeed. Darcy originally stoked the most recent reckoning about social networks’ treatment of Jones and Infowars that ultimately concluded with the widespread bans. 

Wednesday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was grilled by lawmakers on Capitol Hill, with much of the afternoon focused on whether Twitter has a liberal bias that suppresses conservative voices. 

While other Alex Jones and Infowars-affiliated accounts like @newswars still appear to be live on Twitter, the company says it will consider banning other accounts if they’re used to circumvent the Infowars ban.

Originally published at 1:59 p.m. PT. 
Updated at 2:23 p.m. PT: With further details of the ban. 

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