Elon Musk restores account of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on X


The account of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was restored on X, previously often known as Twitter, on Sunday after proprietor Elon Musk performed a ballot amongst followers on Saturday and pronounced: “The Folks have spoken and so it shall be.”

“This will probably be unhealthy for X financially, however ideas matter greater than cash,” he added.

It’s a reversal of a 2018 resolution by the social media platform’s former administration to ban Jones after he promoted hate speech and antisemitic conspiracy theories and elevated extremist voices.

On Saturday, Musk requested his followers in an unscientific ballot whether or not Jones — who has falsely claimed that the 2012 Sandy Hook faculty capturing was “staged” — ought to come again. In a video, Jones additionally requested his followers to vote for his return. About 70 % within the X ballot mentioned sure.

Musk, who has himself supported conspiracy theories on the platform since he purchased it in 2022, had beforehand backed a ban on Jones. Within the publish saying the change, Musk mentioned he nonetheless “vehemently” disagrees with Jones about Sandy Hook however justified his resolution on free speech grounds.

Jones has known as the mass capturing on Dec. 14, 2012, in Newtown, Conn. — which killed 20 youngsters and 6 educators — a “staged occasion” plotted to result in stricter gun legal guidelines. His first transfer after his X account was reinstated Sunday was to repost a message from Andrew Tate, an influencer who has been charged with rape and human trafficking, that welcomed Jones again to the social media web site.

Jones, a longtime provocateur and proprietor of the far-right web site Infowars, remains to be banned from different main social media websites. Infowars can be nonetheless banned by X.

Within the wake of a firestorm that Musk ignited in November by amplifying antisemitic tropes, and a media watchdog report that company advertisements had been showing alongside hate speech, main advertisers comparable to Disney, IBM and Apple have fled the platform. Musk later apologized for an antisemitic tweet however not earlier than unleashing an expletive-filled rant through which he informed advertisers who pulled their cash to “go f— your self.”

That controversy was simply the most recent incident within the rise of far-right speech on X after the platform dramatically loosened its content material moderation guidelines. And Musk — additionally the CEO of Tesla and House X — has reinstated the accounts of some previously banned members, comparable to former president Donald Trump and Kanye West.

Musk’s turnaround on Jones, which comes shortly earlier than the anniversary of the Sandy Hook capturing, is more likely to additional worsen the financially stricken firm’s relationship with advertisers.

A few of Jones’s followers have bodily confronted the grieving relations. Others have known as the victims’ dad and mom “actors” who falsely claimed to have youngsters. Some dad and mom have needed to transfer after enduring harassment and threats.

The households efficiently sued Jones, and courts have to date awarded about $1.5 billion in damages. Jones, who has been evading cost, then tried to say private chapter, with out success.

Final month, households provided Jones a deal to settle the debt for under about 6 % of what he owed.


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