The Last Domino in the Tech World's Censorship of Alex Jones Has Fallen

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After account suspensions on several other social media platforms, controversial radio host Alex Jones has seen his presence on Twitter diminished as a result of a post the site determined violated its terms of use.

Jones and his InfoWars media company, which frequently peddles in right-wing conspiracy theories, had their content removed from a number of influential tech sites in recent weeks.

Among the platforms to ban him within a short period of time earlier this month were Apple, YouTube and Facebook.

Twitter earned criticism from some who supported the ban, leading to a statement from its CEO regarding why Jones was still allowed to post at that time.

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“We didn’t suspend Alex Jones or Infowars yesterday,” Jack Dorsey tweeted. “We know that’s hard for many but the reason is simple: he hasn’t violated our rules. We’ll enforce if he does. And we’ll continue to promote a healthy conversational environment by ensuring tweets aren’t artificially amplified.”

In a statement to CNBC on Wednesday, the company confirmed that it had identified content that violated its stated policies and had suspended Jones’ account for seven days.

“I can confirm that a tweet was reported to us which contained a link to a video on Periscope,” a Twitter spokesperson said. “Upon review we determined it violated our rules and required the account to delete the tweet and video.”

Jones had been using Twitter — and its subsidiary, the video-sharing platform Periscope — to respond to what he and supporters felt was a coordinated attempt by Silicon Valley to limit his reach.

Do you support the tech world's ban on Alex Jones and InfoWars?

As a result of the violation, Twitter confirmed the radio host has “limited functionality” on his existing account and can only read tweets without posting or retweeting content for the duration of the suspension.

Other platforms issued similar statements along with their decision to ban or suspend accounts associated with Jones and InfoWars.

“All users agree to comply with our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines when they sign up to use YouTube,” read a statement from parent company Google.

“When users violate these policies repeatedly, like our policies against hate speech and harassment or our terms prohibiting circumvention of our enforcement measures, we terminate their accounts.”

Apple, which deleted the majority of Jones’ podcasts from its hosting platform, stated that it “does not tolerate hate speech” and has “clear guidelines that creators must follow” in order to maintain active accounts.

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Facebook offered a more specific reaction, describing the types of content it determined was in violation of stated policies against hate speech.

“Upon review, we have taken it down for glorifying violence … and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies,” the company said.

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Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a wide range of newsrooms.
Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a variety of newsroom settings. After covering crime and other beats for newspapers and radio stations across the U.S., he served as managing editor at Western Journalism until 2017. He has also been a regular guest and guest host on several syndicated radio programs. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife and son.
Birthplace
Virginia
Nationality
American
Honors/Awards
Texas Press Association, Best News Writing - 2012
Education
Bachelor of Arts, Journalism - Averett University
Professional Memberships
Online News Association
Location
Arizona
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment




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