Twitter permanently banned Alex Jones yesterday after virtuoso performances in which he tangled with Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and CNN’s Oliver Darcy, the media “reporter” who led the Big Media campaign to silence the conspiracy theorist.
Twitter blocked both of Jones’s accounts: @realalexjones and @infowars. Twitter also blocked Jones from its other services.
Twitter acted weeks after the other tech giants moved to smash Jones, who might be the nation’s foremost conspiracy theorist and enemy of the mainstream media.
Jones vs. Darcy
The straw that broke the back for Twitter, apparently, was Jones’s verbal mugging of Darcy.
Jones posted video of the encounter on Twitter’s Periscope video streaming service. That “harassing” recording, the New York Times reported, “was among the material that Twitter considered before deciding on the bans, according to a person briefed on the situation, who was not authorized to speak publicly.”
Jones cornered the owlish Darcy and commenced a free-speech tirade that invited the usual video recording from onlookers.
“Look at this right here,” Jones began “the guy that goes around policing and calling for censorship…. You are incredibly shameful.”
“You are literally an anti-American, anti-free speech coward,” he said. “You’re gonna go down in the history books the ‘Criminal News Network.’”
Jones also attacked Darcy’s employment history, noting that “he comes from the loins of Glenn Beck.” And “look at those eyes, if you want to see the eyes of a rat … look at those eyes … running around, trying to police the Internet and try to shut people down.”
“And then you think people are so stupid on CNN, a week later you say no one is censoring anybody, no one is pushing for censoring,” Jones continued. “And then you say that Trump is the one attacking the press when all he does is stand up to your lies. Just look at this guy’s eyes.”
“He’s the thought police,” Jones averred. Right-wing blogger Charles C. Johnson joined Jones, also claiming that Darcy doesn’t believe in free speech.
As The New American reported in July, Darcy led something of a one-man campaign to persuade the social media giants to ban Jones. He publicly badgered Facebook executives. Facebook and Youtube permanently banned Jones, while Twitter followed with a seven-day suspension.
Twitter’s safety account offered explained its decision:
Today, we permanently suspended @realalexjones and @infowars 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 accounts’ past violations….
We will continue to evaluate reports we receive regarding other accounts potentially associated with @realalexjones or @infowars and will take action if content that violates our rules is reported or if other accounts are utilized in an attempt to circumvent their ban.
Yet even liberal commenters on Twitter aren’t so sure banning Jones is a good idea, something even the ACLU has said, as The New American reported.
Wrote one commenter, “Honestly don’t follow this guy…too extreme for my liking. With that said…. Twitter is being hypocritical by not applying this to the far left accounts. If you don’t like what someone is saying… Stop or don’t listen to them. Again.. Not supporting Alex, but will for 1st Adm.”
Wrote another, “I can’t stand Alex. He profiteers off tragedy and the exploitation of victims. But I love free speech. Twitter needs to return to being a platform for free speech.”
“I am not a fan of Alex Jones,” wrote a third. “At all. But think it’s a bad idea to delete him, essentially for words that came out of his mouth. Inflammatory words. Yes. But folks who don’t like him don’t have to follow him.”
Jones vs. Rubio
After an early-morning press conference at which Jones accused the social-media giants and mainstream media of trying to silence him, he jumped into Senator Marco Rubio’s interview with the media.
Rubio was speaking outside the hearing where Facebook chieftain Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter boss Jack Dorsey were testifying about foreign agents’ using the two platforms to disrupt and influence American politics.
Jones repeatedly interrupted Rubio, then patted the senator on the shoulder.
“Hey, don’t touch me again, man,” Rubio said. “I’m asking you not to touch me.”
“Oh, you want me to get arrested,” the Infowars proprietor said.
“You’re not going to get arrested,” Rubio warned. “I’ll take care of it myself.”
“Oh, oh, he’ll beat me up,” Jones said.
“I didn’t say that,” Rubio replied.
Twitter appears to have notified a number of establishment media publications ahead of its permanent ban of Alex Jones, while neglecting to inform conservative media. A tweet from CNN’s Oliver Darcy was published at 4:45 p.m. eastern time, coinciding precisely with Twitter publicly announcing the ban. CNN could not have written the article beforehand unless Twitter notified them of its decision in advance.
? Alex Jones and InfoWars have been permanently banned from Twitter https://t.co/rRoOQZep5p
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) September 6, 2018
Today, we permanently suspended @realalexjones and @infowars 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 accounts’ past violations. https://t.co/gckzUAV8GL
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) September 6, 2018
BREAKING: Twitter is permanently banning conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and Infowars for abusive behavior.
— The Associated Press (@AP) September 6, 2018
BREAKING: Twitter is banning Alex Jones and Infowars for violating their abusive behavior policy. https://t.co/jrpjSec1vy
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) September 6, 2018
Twitter has banned Alex Jones for violating its abusive behavior policy. The network was the last holdout after other tech platforms blocked him. https://t.co/O2mJvoe9qz
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 6, 2018
No conservative-leaning media source appears to have received advance notice. A source at Fox News said they “hadn’t heard anything” ahead of the ban. Fox did not run an article on Jones’ ban until an hour after Twitter’s announcement. The Wall Street Journal posted an article several hours after the ban as well.
Infowars editor-at-large Paul Joseph Watson said: “Silicon Valley and mainstream media are working hand in hand to silence competing voices. This is clearly harmful to the very spirit of the First Amendment and must be stopped now. Social media is the public square. It’s time it was legally treated that way.”