Twitter has permanently suspended the accounts of Alex Jones and Infowars. This decision comes after several other companies, including Facebook, Spotify, Apple, Google, and Stitcher removed some or all of the content from Alex Jones and Infowars from their websites and apps.
On August 7, 2018, Jack Dorsey tweeted a thread explaining why Twitter did not suspend Alex Jones. The first tweet included: “We didn’t suspend Alex Jones or Infowars yesterday. We know that’s hard for many but the reason is simple: he hasn’t violated our rules. We’ll enforce it if he does.”
Buzzfeed News reported some information that explains what happened that got Alex Jones and his accounts permanently suspended from Twitter:
…The decision came after a series of provocations from Jones that Twitter deemed in violation of its “abusive behavior” rules.
The incident that inspired Twitter to action appears to have been a series of tweets containing a nine-minute Periscope video of Jones and his camera operators confronting CNN reporter Oliver Darcy. In the video, Jones lambastes Darcy as “the equivalent of like the Hitler Youth” and accuses him of “smiling like a possum that crawled out of the rear end of a dead cow.”
The Twitter Safety account posted a short thread on September 6, 2018, with further information. The first tweet said: “Today, we permanently suspended @realalexjones and @infwars from Twitter and Periscope. We took this action based on new reports of Tweets and videos posted yesterday that violate our abusive behavior policy, in addition to the account’s past violations.”
Personally, I think Twitter’s decision is a step in the right direction. I’d like to see Twitter hold those who engage in abuse and harassment accountable for what they post. I remember what Twitter was like when it was new and people were nice to each other and interested in making new friends. Maybe Twitter will actually put in the effort clean itself up.
As always whenever a social media website suspends a person who is in the public eye, people feel the need to spread misinformation about what free speech means. Freedom of speech means the government cannot arrest you for what you say. No one is entitled to have an account on a social media website, especially if they choose to break its abuse policy.