The new owner of Twitter Elon Musk has said he will not reinstate the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to the social media platform. Musk said he has “no mercy” for people who capitalize on the deaths of children for personal fame.
Jones and his conspiracy right-wing website Infowars were permanently suspended by Twitter in September 2018 for violating the platform’s abusive behavior policy.
Jones, 48, gained notoriety for pushing a false conspiracy theory about the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in 2012, which led to harassment of parents who lost their children in the massacre.
Jones has been ordered by a U.S. court to pay more than $1.4 billion to people who suffered from his false claim that the shooting, in which 20 children and six educators died, was a hoax.
Musk has begun to reinstate previously banned accounts on Twitter. He even lifted the permanent suspension of former U.S. president Donald Trump after conducting a poll on Twitter.
So too instated was right-wing Jordan Peterson, who rose to fame spouting misogynistic, anti-gay, and transphobic language. He was banned by the social media platform for violating Twitter’s hateful conduct policies, after posting tweets that targeted trans people.
But Jones may be where Musk draws the line.
Musk appeared to rule out a return for Jones in an interaction with Twitter users on Monday. The author and podcaster Sam Harris asked Twitter’s new owner if it was “time to let Alex Jones back on Twitter” and “if not, why not?”. Kim Dotcom, the internet entrepreneur, also asked if Jones could be reinstated in the interest of “real free speech”.
Musk replied that he had lost a child – to sudden infant death syndrome in 2002 – and said Jones used the death of children to push his own agenda.
Musk tweeted: “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.”