Twitter issued a weeklong suspension Tuesday to an account belonging to Infowars’ marquee conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones.
Jones had posted a video of himself telling supporters, “Now is the time to act on the enemy before they do a false flag,” and calling on them to get their “battle rifles” ready, which Twitter said violated its rules against inciting violence. The platform instructed Jones to delete the tweet. During the suspension period, Jones will be unable to send tweets or retweet, but he can still read content on the site. The main Infowars account remains active and tweeted shortly after the suspension, “@RealAlexJones is now in @Twitter prison!”
Last week, a wave of platforms including Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts removed accounts and content associated with Infowars for various violations of their standards. Facebook and other companies had long been resisting calls to take decisive action on Jones for spreading false, hateful, and violent content. The companies finally banned his accounts in quick succession after Apple removed five Infowars podcasts.
Twitter stood out as the only major tech company that did not take similar action against Jones and his media company. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey defended the decision in tweets and interviews, arguing that Jones had not violated the platform’s rules.
A CNN investigation subsequently found, however, that more than a dozen tweets posted by Infowars and Jones having to do with topics like Sandy Hook, Parkland, and gender identity would appear to violate the company’s policies against harassment, glorifying violence, and “hateful conduct.” After CNN published the investigation, Jones told his staff to take down the tweets. Twitter concluded that seven of the tweets violated its rules but allowed the accounts to remain on the platform. It is unclear how many violations it would take for Twitter to completely remove the accounts.