The social network says new videos prompted the move.
Joan E. SolsmanFormer Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
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Three Folio Eddie award wins: 2018 science & technology writing (Cartoon bunnies are hacking your brain), 2021 analysis (Deepfakes' election threat isn't what you'd think) and 2022 culture article (Apple's CODA Takes You Into an Inner World of Sign)
When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
Alex Jones' expulsion from the biggest social networks of the English-speaking internet appears complete.
Twitter said in a series of tweets Thursday that it was banning the primary accounts of the the far-right commentator and his media outlet Infowars, which are known for spreading virulent conspiracy theories. The ban includes both Twitter itself and Periscope, the live video app owned by the company.
Twitter said the terminated accounts violated its abusive-behavior policy.
"Today, we permanently suspended @realalexjones and @infowars from Twitter and Periscope," the Twitter Safety account said in a tweet. "We took this action based on new reports of Tweets and videos posted yesterday that violate our abusive behavior policy, in addition to the accounts' past violations."
While other Alex Jones and Infowars-affiliated accounts like @newswars still appear to be live on Twitter, the company says it will consider banning them if they're used to circumvent the Infowars ban.
The suspensions underscore a wider reckoning for tech giants as they grapple with the implications of unbridled free speech on their platforms. Abuse, scandals linked to overreaching data collection and election tampering amplified by social networks have some of the largest companies on the defensive as lawmakers and the public question their competence in handling the responsibilities of their power.
Twitter's latest move comes after Facebook and Google'sYouTube kicked Jones' primary accounts off their platforms last month, amid a wave of suspensions by Apple's iTunes, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Vimeo and Spotify. Jones and Infowars still operate their own website with a store that provides the outlet with much of its revenue, and its app is still available in Apple's App Store.
At the time, Twitter suspended Jones for a week by putting his account in a read-only mode, meaning he could see the tweets of others, but not tweet, retweet or like posts. Dorsey appeared on conservative commentator Sean Hannity's radio show last month to argue that InfoWars hadn't violated Twitter's rules. "We'll enforce if he does," Dorsey said at the time. "And we'll continue to promote a healthy conversational environment by ensuring tweets aren't artificially amplified."
A representative for Jones and Infowars didn't respond to messages seeking comment.
On Infowars.com, Jones said "I was taken down not because we lie but because we tell the truth," in a response to the Twitter ban.
A Twitter representative said it is assessing accounts linked to Infowars that are still active "on a case-by-case basis" and that it will be on guard in case those channels "are utilized as a way to get around the ban." The company said "if we find violations we'll take action" against accounts with histories related to Jones.
Twitter didn't specify what triggered the permanent suspensions Thursday, other than to say that videos containing rule-violating content were posted to the accounts.
In his response video on Infowars.com, Jones said he "confronted that monster" Darcy and "because of that they took us down." He also referred to a video in which he accused a group of women of being racist for their comments about white people, and he indicated that his confrontation with Sen. Marco Rubio contributed to the ban.
This comes a day after Congressional lawmakers grilled Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for hours, with much of the afternoon's questioning focused on whether Twitter has a liberal bias that suppresses conservative voices. Jones sat in on one of the hearings where Dorsey testified, and Jones prowled Capitol Hill's hallways, followed by his camera crew, for much of the day.
Tech companies have long been accused of letting liberal leanings filter into their products, resulting in alleged censorship and suppression. It's been a favorite charge leveled against tech by political figures, including Jones and President Donald Trump. Trump spent much of last week accusing Google, Facebook and Twitter of political bias. He tweeted that Google's search results are "RIGGED," saying the company is "suppressing voices of Conservatives."
"I think Google has really taken advantage of a lot of people," he told reporters later that day. "Google and Twitter and Facebook, they're really treading on very, very troubled territory, and they have to be careful."
On Wednesday, Dorsey rejected accusations of bias.
"We don't consider political viewpoints, perspectives or party affiliation in any of our policies or enforcement decisions. Period," he said. "Impartiality is our guiding principle."
First published Sept. 6, 1:59 p.m. PT. Update, 2:23 p.m. PT: With further details of the ban. Update, 2:49 p.m. PT: With Twitter response and further details, context. Update, 3:11 p.m. PT: With Jones' response.