Alex Jones was banned from Twitter on Thursday following a publicity stunt on Wednesday on Capitol Hill
In August Jones was banned from Facebook YouTube Apple and other social media giants
On Wednesday Jones was seen harassing Senator Mark Rubio and CNN reporter Oliver Darcy
Jones’ confrontation with Darcy was done live through Periscope which is owned by Twitter
Twitter claimed Jones’ 10 minute confrontation with Darcy broke user policy
On Wednesday, Alex Jones showed up on Capitol Hill to bring his rants in front of his oppressors. A plan that appeared to be more of a publicity stunt than anything seems to have backfired after Twitter banned Jones for his behavior on Thursday.
Twitter was the only social media giant that appeared to have Jones’ back following his ban from Facebook, Apple, Spotify, YouTube and other social media sites. Jones claims his freedom of speech is under attack while the private companies argue his conspiracy site Info Wars is violating user policies.
It was reported that on Wednesday Jones was seen stalking behind Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey as they testified before the Senate. Then Jones went on to accost Senator Mark Rubio in the hallway amidst several news interviews, more than likely destroying the majority of soundbites in the process.
During the altercation, Rubio is heard claiming he has no clue who Jones is. After Jones pats Rubio’s shoulder, the senator warns him not to touch him again. Rubio says he won’t have Jones arrested and that he would take care of it himself. Jones immediately starts playing the victim by claiming Rubio threatened him. The whole exchange is somewhat painful to watch.
It was not Jones’ attack on Rubio that pushed Twitter’s last button. Instead, it was an attack on a CNN journalist. When Twitter did not follow other companies lead and ban Jones, the company claimed he was not violating their user policies. However, CNN reporter Oliver Darcy publicly pointed out several occasions where Jones did violate company policies.
In the days following Darcy’s story, Jones — or one of his employees — went through and deleted the tweets in question. Twitter also forced Jones to remove another tweet and placed his account in read-only status for a week. Once the Twitter time-out was over, Jones once again had access to his just under one million Twitter followers.
Just before Dorsey was set to testify on Wednesday, Jones stuck a phone in Darcy’s face as he waited in line with other media colleagues to go into the hearing room. During a livestream on Periscope — which is owned by Twitter — that lasted roughly ten minutes, Jones poked at Darcy’s work, his employers and said he had the “eyes of a rat.”
Twitter stated they had “new reports of Tweets and videos posted yesterday that violate our abusive behavior policy.” The policy Jones broke while accosting Darcy does not allow, “excessively aggressive insults that target an individual, including content that contains slurs or similar language.”
When Jones was blocked from other social media sites in August, it initially gave Info Wars a massive spike in traffic. Now it appears that may have been just from the initial news breaking. Jones claims that banning his platforms from social media sites was only making him and his brand stronger, but his views tell a different story.
According to an article from The New York Times, Jones was receiving 1.4 million views to his website every day in the three weeks before being banned from most social media sites in August. At that time, Jones had four Facebook pages that gave him an audience of 2.9 million. On YouTube, he had 2.4 million subscribers. So for him to claim it was not a huge hit to his empire is a delusional comment at best. Since being stripped of these platforms, Jones’ daily site visits and video views have dropped down to 715,000.
Jones was also recently hit with a defamation lawsuit from parents of victims in the Sandy Hook shooting. For years Jones has claimed the shooting was fake and that no children were actually killed. Just last week a judge ruled against Jones’ request to dismiss the lawsuit. Jones attempted to dismiss the lawsuit under the Texas Citizens Participation Act, which protects freedom of speech against plaintiffs trying to silence through costly litigation.
The same judge ruled that Marcel Fontaine was not allowed to sue Jones, but was allowed to sue his businesses after being falsely identified by Jones as the shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida that killed 17 people. Fontaine was 1,200 miles away in Massachusetts when Jones made the accusation. Fontaine’s photo was online for at least five hours and resulted in months of harassment and threats.