Twitter has barred right-wing conspiracy monger Alex Jones from posting on the social-media site for one week after violating its policies, the company confirmed.
The tweet (now deleted) that landed Jones in the seven-day penalty box said, “Alex Jones: Trump Must Take Action Against Web Censorship” and included a link to a Periscope live-video broadcast (which also is now unavailable).
“We can confirm that [Alex Jones’] account currently has limited functionality,” a Twitter rep said in a statement. “We haven’t suspended the account but are requiring tweets which contained a broadcast in violation of our rules are deleted.”
In the broadcast in question on Twitter’s Periscope, according to watchdog group Media Matters, Jones appeared to call for violence against perceived left-wing “traitors.” He said the “mainstream media is the enemy” and said “people need to have their battle rifles and everything ready at their bedsides and you got to be ready because the media is so disciplined in their deception.” While the Periscope video from Jones’ account has been removed, the same video as of Wednesday remained accessible on the “Infowars_Live” account.
The content ran afoul of Twitter’s prohibition against abuse, which specifies that users “may not engage in the targeted harassment of someone, or incite other people to do so. We consider abusive behavior an attempt to harass, intimidate, or silence someone else’s voice.”
With the one-week suspension, Jones is able to read tweets but cannot post anything to Twitter or interact with other users’ tweets. Twitter’s temporary ban of Jones was first reported by CNET.
It’s the latest development involving the Infowars founder and his crusade to push the boundaries of what Silicon Valley companies will tolerate in terms of hateful speech, harassment and misinformation. Infowars and Jones, it’s worth noting, have enjoyed immeasurable publicity in the last two weeks after getting booted by YouTube, Facebook, Apple, Spotify, Vimeo and others. Both Apple and Google still include the Infowars live-streaming app in their respective app stores.
Last week, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey defended the company’s decision to not suspend Infowars and Jones from the platform, claiming they had not violated Twitter policies. After a CNN report identifying numerous past tweets from Infowars and Jones that did violate Twitter’s rules, those posts were deleted.
Tweets by Infowars and Jones deleted last week included posts attacking transgender and Muslim people; a claim that the 2012 shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a hoax perpetrated by “crisis actors”; and a video calling David Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland, Fla., high-school shooting, a Nazi.
While Jones and his sympathizers have cried censorship following the actions of YouTube, Facebook, Apple and others, internet-content platforms specifically reserve the right to suspend users or delete content found to violate of their guidelines — indeed, Infowars’ own terms of service includes such a provision.