Twitter bans far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones

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WASHINGTON: Twitter on Thursday (Sept 6) joined the rest of the tech industry in barring rightwing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from using social network platform for spreading conspiracy theories, hate and fake news.

 

Google-owned YouTube, Apple and Facebook had removed or restricted Jones' activities on their platforms for hate speech in August. Twitter fell in line on Thursday by permanently banning the accounts of both Jones and his website Infowars.

 

"Today, we permanently suspended @realalexjones and @infowars from Twitter and Periscope," AFP reported. 

"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," the social network said adding that it took the action "based on new reports of Tweets and videos posted on Thursday that violate their abusive behaviour policy, in addition to the accounts' past violations." 

The ban will cut Jones and Infowars from its 1.5 million followers on future interaction on Twitter's platform, and Twitter vows to "take action" if the latter attempts to circumvent the prohibitive measure, according to IANS. 

An analysis by the New York Times this week found that Jones’ audience had decreased significantly in the wake of his bans from Facebook and YouTube. The figures suggest that together the two social media platforms were responsible for doubling Jones’ audience, said a report in the Guardian. 

The IANS report said Jones was notorious for accusing the US government of planning the Oklahoma City bombing that killed at least 168 people and wounded more than 680 others in 1995. Jones also doubted the government's role in the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in the US that left 2,996 people dead and over 6,000 injured. 

Guardian reported that one of the conspiracy theories of the 44-year-old Jones had resulted in years of harassment for the parents of victims of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting. His broadcasts and website feature a mix of false information, hate-mongering, conspiracy theories and general ranting. 

Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Spotify and Apple Podcasts all allowed Jones to use their platforms to build his following until this summer, when a reporter from CNN, Oliver Darcy, publicly asked Facebook to explain how it could claim to combat hate speech and misinformation while continuing to amplify Jones, the report said. 

Image Credit: Dailysabha.com

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