Twitter just permanently suspended Infowars and Alex Jones, a full month after companies like Apple, Facebook, and YouTube removed the conspiracy theorist and his blog from their platforms. Twitter said that the Infowars creator had violated its “abusive behavior” rules.
Twitter at last deemed Jones went too far after he tweeted a video of himself confronting a CNN reporter, calling him an equivalent of “the Hitler Youth” and using other disturbing imagery to disparage him.
Over the past month, Twitter has hesitated with what to do about Jones. In contrast, on August 6th, Apple banned Jones’ podcasts (although it kept the Infowars app in the App Store), YouTube deleted his channel, and Facebook wiped out multiple pages he ran. As multiple tech companies turned their backs on Jones and his hate speech toward immigrants and minorities, Twitter was the main platform left still equivocating.
In mid-August, Twitter finally admitted that Jones had violated its rules at least seven times. But still, those violations didn’t seem to merit a full ban. Twitter moved toward punishing Jones by suspending him for a week for inciting violence. In response to the inaction, users on Twitter mobilized, following a campaign started by Grab Your Wallet founder Shannon Coulter. Users were able to block a list of Fortune 500 companies through a tool and prevent their ads from appearing on timelines, as way to push Twitter to act faster.
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
Today, after Twitter announced the ban on Jones and his associated accounts, Coulter tweeted that she was unblocking the Fortune 500 companies on her tool that people were using. She then asked others to unblock those companies as well.
.@Jack, from the bottom of my heart: thank you. This will make the lives of a lot of people tangibly better. I will now unblock every company on the #BlockParty500 list. All: if you’ve been manually blocking as a part of this effort, pls. manually unblock. https://t.co/axHcdBu9f9
— Shannon Coulter (@shannoncoulter) September 6, 2018