Twitter CEO: Alex Jones 'hasn’t violated our rules'

Tech companies gave massive platforms to conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones. Is the crackdown finally here

Tech companies gave massive platforms to conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones. Is the crackdown finally here

This followed the nearly simultaneous removal of his podcasts and pages from Apple, Facebook, and Spotify for hate-speech violations.

Dorsey directed readers towards an article further explaining Twitter's rules. It was the first major company to sanction the broadcaster in its entirety as pressure has mounted on content sharing platforms in recent months to clampdown on Jones and Infowars. The four companies stated that Jones' disparaging comments about Muslims, immigrants, members of the LGBT community, and several other groups of people violate the hate speech clauses in their respective terms-of-service agreements.

"We didn't suspend Alex Jones or Infowars yesterday", said Jack Dorsey on Twitter.

A number of platforms have reached a different conclusion, as the crackdown on Jones intensified this week.

Apple has removed the entire library for five of Infowars' six podcasts from its iTunes and Podcast apps, BuzzFeed News has learned.

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"We've been banned completely on Facebook, Apple and Spotify", Jones tweeted on Monday. Both sites had already temporarily limited his publishing power, and Spotify showed itself ready to act against Jones when it removed some of his podcasts last week. "Sometimes these expressions may be offensive, controversial, and/or bigoted", Twitter said in a Tuesday blog post. A separate Twitter account for Infowars is also still running.

Kevin M. Kruse, a historian at Princeton, sought to portray Dorsey's resort to Twitter's codes of conduct as blind to Jones's online behavior.

InfoWars is notorious for spreading demonstrably false information and conspiracy theories on a host of issues. This marks a contrast with the approach of Facebook, which has rolled out a set of fact-checking initiatives, including the use of machine-learning tools to prevent the spread of debunked stories. But this hasn't shielded Twitter from criticism following its decision to allow Jones a platform. In reality, he is simply being asked to comply with the same rules that other users of the same services have to comply with - he is just perhaps "unfortunate" to be a relatively high profile character who is able to make a lot of noise when banned by one service, thereby drawing attention to himself and forcing other companies to consider whether he violates their standards too. In a defamation suit filed in Connecticut Superior Court in late May, the families said Jones promotes conspiracies to drive traffic to his website and subsequently sell products to his followers.

Dorsey's tweet echoed an earlier statement from Twitter, which said it's "constantly moderating content on its platform and will take action if it needs to".

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