SEVERE WX : Red Flag Warning View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Twitter Muzzles Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones for a Week

Twitter is joining other prominent tech companies in muzzling Alex Jones, the right-wing conspiracy theorist who's used their services to spread false information.

Posted: Aug 15, 2018 11:52 AM
Updated: Aug 15, 2018 11:54 AM

By BARBARA ORTUTAY , AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter is joining other prominent tech companies in muzzling Alex Jones, the right-wing conspiracy theorist who's used their services to spread false information.

Twitter had been resisting the move despite public pressure, including some from its own employees. But the holdout lasted less than two weeks.

Late Tuesday, Twitter said it had "limited" Jones' personal account for seven days because he had violated the company's rules. Jones won't be able to tweet or retweet, though he will be able to browse Twitter during this time. The company would not comment on what the offending post said.

But in a video posted Wednesday to the Twitter account of Jones' "Infowars" show, Jones said the company suspended him and may shut him down completely because he violated its rules by posting a "video I shot last night saying (President Donald) Trump should do something about the censorship of the internet."

Paul Joseph Watson, the editor-at-large for Infowars, posted a screenshot of a Twitter notice that said Jones had his account "temporarily limited" because he violated its rules against "targeted harassment of someone, or (inciting) other people to do so."

The video is no longer available on Twitter or Periscope, where Jones posted it. But it is still up elsewhere on the web. In it, Jones says people "need to have their battle rifles and everything ready at their bedsides and you got to be ready because the media is so disciplined in their deception."

This punishment is light compared with that leveled by Apple, YouTube and Spotify, which permanently removed material Jones had published. Facebook, meanwhile, suspended him for 30 days and took down four of his pages, including two for Infowars.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had originally defended his company's decision not to ban Jones, tweeting that Jones "hasn't violated our rules" but if he does "we'll enforce."

"We're going to hold Jones to the same standard we hold to every account, not taking one-off actions to make us feel good in the short term, and adding fuel to new conspiracy theories," Dorsey tweeted on Aug. 7, after the other companies took action against Jones.

The apparent change of heart reflects a Twitter still grasping to its roots as a free-wheeling Wild West of the internet in an age where online words can have serious real-life consequences. This while it and other social media companies are grappling with how to enforce sometimes vague rules without appearing partisan and while leaning toward promoting, rather than curbing, free speech.

When deciding what the rules are and how to enforce them — especially when it comes to gray areas — they are up against both conservatives and liberals claiming bias and feeling silenced. There are also users who often just want to post about their daily lives, and even against their own employees, be they free speech absolutists or those who feel people like Jones do not deserve an online megaphone.

"The platforms cannot win because some constituency will be offended no matter what they do," said Nathaniel Persily, a professor at Stanford Law School.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 32820

Reported Deaths: 543
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah7184138
Marion468394
Washington451960
Umatilla297641
Clackamas240861
Malheur162723
Lane121017
Jackson11485
Deschutes84012
Yamhill75713
Jefferson5348
Polk53015
Linn52213
Morrow4996
Lincoln48213
Union4462
Benton3106
Wasco2923
Klamath2802
Hood River2510
Douglas2324
Clatsop2120
Josephine1982
Columbia1711
Coos1570
Baker942
Crook621
Tillamook530
Lake330
Curry310
Wallowa311
Sherman180
Harney120
Grant100
Gilliam80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 809890

Reported Deaths: 15606
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2678016514
Riverside581781189
San Bernardino54478925
Orange533151216
San Diego46610776
Kern31947369
Fresno28336382
Sacramento22269406
Alameda21189406
Santa Clara21153312
San Joaquin20194441
Contra Costa16572205
Stanislaus16452354
Tulare15970263
Ventura12729150
Imperial11835317
San Francisco11143101
Monterey988471
San Mateo9843150
Santa Barbara9061113
Merced8872142
Kings756980
Sonoma7412122
Marin6716118
Solano630963
Madera448165
Placer357745
San Luis Obispo354629
Butte282744
Yolo280355
Santa Cruz23589
Sutter170511
Napa168113
San Benito134511
Yuba11537
El Dorado11274
Mendocino93118
Shasta85617
Lassen7400
Glenn5783
Tehama5605
Lake54911
Nevada5347
Colusa5296
Humboldt5017
Calaveras31714
Amador29616
Tuolumne2274
Inyo18715
Mono1652
Siskiyou1650
Del Norte1391
Mariposa752
Plumas500
Modoc270
Trinity160
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 99° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 70°
Brookings
Scattered Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 96° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 68°
Crater Lake
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 48°
Grants Pass
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 57°
Klamath Falls
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 48°
Hot and dry week, smoke returns
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Possible housing solutions after wildfires

Image

Monday, September 28th Evening Weather

Image

Similarities in days had southern Oregonians on edge

Image

Monday, September 28 afternoon weather

Image

Monday, September 28 morning weather

Image

Sunday, September 27 evening weather

Image

Sunday, September 27 morning weather

Image

The initial spread of the Almeda Fire in real-time

Image

Saturday, September 26 evening weather

Image

Saturday, September 26 morning weather