Political commentator and show host Alex Jones has been reinstated on X after Elon Musk voiced his thoughts on the matter, declaring “Vox Populi, Vox Dei” and conducting a poll.
Jones, a host on the platform Infowars, and now on MugClub was permanently banned from Twitter in September 2018. This decision followed a series of events, including a confrontational encounter with CNN reporter Oliver Darcy.
In August 2018, during a congressional hearing on social media, Jones had a heated exchange with Darcy, accusing him of being against free speech and supporting censorship. This confrontation was livestreamed on Periscope, a live video streaming app owned by Twitter, which brought it directly under Twitter’s scrutiny.
Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admitted that CNN was part of the reason why Jones was banned from the platform.
“…We got into a situation where suddenly a bunch of people were reporting content on our platform, including CNN, who wrote an article about all things that might violate our rules that we looked into and we gave him [Alex Jones] one of the warnings,” Dorsey said in 2018.
At the time Jones’s video with Darcy was broadcast, Darcy had already successfully lobbied many of the Big Tech giants to deplatform Jones and Infowars. Jones was confronting Darcy to call him out for this behavior.
Jones referred to Darcy as a “rat,” a “sociopath,” “a possum that crawled out of the rear end of a dead cow,” and likened him to“the Hitler Youth.”
After Dorsey and Twitter’s former head of legal Vijaya Gadde explained on the Joe Rogan Experience why Jones was banned, Rogan found the idea that Jones was banned for confronting Darcy humorous and laughed as Gadde described the video while saying: “That’s enough [to get banned]? Really? That’s hilarious.”
Elon Musk had previously expressed reluctance to reinstate Alex Jones, but not for any reason to do with why Jones was banned in the first place.
In fact, Musk’s reluctance to reinstate Jones has to do with something that happened back in 2012.
Jones questioned the authenticity of the Sandy Hook school massacre in which 26 lives were lost, the majority of which were children. Jones was successfully sued by the families of the victims.
“My firstborn child died in my arms. I felt his last heartbeat. I have no mercy for anyone who would use the deaths of children for gain, politics or fame,” Musk said back in 2022.
Elon Musk commented on Jones being reinstated: “I vehemently disagree with what he said about Sandy Hook, but are we a platform that believes in freedom of speech or are we not?
“That is what it comes down to in the end. If the people vote him back on, this will be bad for 𝕏 financially, but principles matter more than money.”
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