Elon Musk reinstates conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on X
Elon Musk has reinstated conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ account on X, formerly Twitter, despite his history of extremist rants.
In August 2018, the far-right InfoWars host was banned from Facebook, YouTube, Apple and Spotify following years of extremist rants about transgender people, lesbians, drag queens, Muslims and immigrants.
Supplement hawker Jones was permanently suspended from Twitter a month later due to tweets and videos that violated its abusive behaviour policy.
In a move similar to one that saw former US president Donald Trump’s account reinstated, Musk called on X users to vote in a poll to decide if Jones’ ban should be lifted, with around 70 per cent of respondents voting to lift the ban.
Since completing the purchase of X in October last year, Musk has welcomed a host of controversial accounts back to the platform, including former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke, British far-right pundit Katie Hopkins, Kanye West after his antisemitic rants, and self-proclaimed misogynist Andrew Tate who was indicted in June on charges of rape, human trafficking and forming an organised crime group to sexually exploit women.
Jones is an anti-LGBTQ+ conspiracy theorist, perhaps most-known for spreading misinformation about the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut, in which 20 children and six adults were killed, falsely claiming it was a “hoax” and “no one died”.
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Jones was ordered to pay more than $1 billion in damages to the families of the Sandy Hook massacre victims, who he falsely accused of being paid “crisis actors”. Courts ruled that the InfoWars host had caused bereaved families to be subjected to harassment and death threats with his lies.
Jones has admitted that he now accepts that the Sandy Hook shooting was real.
Musk stated on his floundering social media platform that he “vehemently” disagreed with Jones’ Sandy Hook statements, but added: “We are platform that believes in freedom of speech or are we not?”
The Tesla billionaire said the move would be “bad for X financially” but “principles matter more than money”.
Musk previously refused calls to reinstate Jones’ account, citing the death of his 10-week old baby in 2002 as the reason why and writing: “I have no mercy for anyone who would use the death of children for gain, politics or fame.”
However, it appears that Musk has changed his mind.
In 2018, the vocally anti-trans Jones was mocked and accused of hypocrisy after accidentally revealing trans porn in his open tabs during a live demonstration of how to use the InfoWars website.
Jones’ reinstatement comes amid a mass advertiser exodus with brands like Disney, Paramount, NBCUniversal, Comcast, Lionsgate and Warner Bros. Discovery, and high-profile names including Paris Hilton, refusing to spend their money on X.
In typical Musk style, the Space X owner told fleeing advertisers to “go f**k yourselves”.
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