Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Elon Musk Reverses X Ban of Online Provocateur Who Called School Shooting a Hoax
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 4 months ago on
December 11, 2023

Share

Elon Musk has restored the X account of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, pointing to a poll on the social media platform formerly known as Twitter that came out in favor of the Infowars host who repeatedly called the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting a hoax.

It poses new uncertainty for advertisers, who have fled X over concerns about hate speech appearing alongside their ads, and is the latest divisive public personality to get back their banned account.

Musk posted a poll on Saturday asking if Jones should be reinstated, with the results showing 70% of those who responded in favor. Early Sunday, Musk tweeted, “The people have spoken and so it shall be.”

A few hours later, Jones’ posts were visible again and he retweeted a post about his video game. He and his Infowars show had been permanently banned in 2018 for abusive behavior.

Musk, who has described himself as a free speech absolutist, said the move was about protecting those rights. In response to a user who posted that “permanent account bans are antithetical to free speech,” Musk wrote, “I find it hard to disagree with this point.”

The billionaire Tesla CEO also tweeted it’s likely that Community Notes — X’s crowd-sourced fact-checking service — “will respond rapidly to any AJ post that needs correction.”

Musk Previously Refused to Reinstate Jones

It is a major turnaround for Musk, who previously said he wouldn’t let Jones back on the platform despite repeated calls to do so. Last year, Musk pointed to the death of his first-born child and tweeted, “I have no mercy for anyone who would use the deaths of children for gain, politics or fame.”

Jones repeatedly has said on his show that the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, that killed 20 children and six educators never happened and was staged in an effort to tighten gun laws.

Relatives of many of the victims sued Jones in Connecticut and Texas, winning nearly $1.5 billion in judgments against him. In October, a judge ruled that Jones could not use bankruptcy protection to avoid paying more than $1.1 billon of that debt.

Relatives of the school shooting victims testified at the trials about being harassed and threatened by Jones’ believers, who sent threats and even confronted the grieving families in person, accusing them of being “crisis actors” whose children never existed.

Jones is appealing the judgments, saying he didn’t get fair trials and his speech was protected by the First Amendment.

Restoring Jones’ account comes as Musk has seen a slew of big brands, including Disney and IBM, stop advertising on X after a report by liberal advocacy group Media Matters said ads were appearing alongside pro-Nazi content and white nationalist posts.

They also were scared away after Musk himself endorsed an antisemitic conspiracy theory in response to a post on X. The Tesla CEO later apologized and visited Israel, where he toured a kibbutz attacked by Hamas militants and held talks with top Israeli leaders.

But he also has said advertisers are engaging in “blackmail” and, using a profanity, essentially told them to go away.

“Don’t advertise,” Musk said in an on-stage interview late last month at The New York Times DealBook Summit.

After buying Twitter last year, Musk said he was granting “amnesty” for suspended accounts and has since reinstated former President Donald Trump; Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, following two suspensions over antisemitic posts last year; and far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who was kicked off the platform for violating its COVID-19 misinformation policies.

Trump, who was banned for encouraging the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection, has his own social media site, Truth Social, and has only tweeted once since being allowed back on X.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Surprising Ways and Places You Can Use SNAP EBT Food Benefits

DON'T MISS

Californians Worry About Crime, Setting up a Ballot Measure Showdown

DON'T MISS

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

DON'T MISS

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

DON'T MISS

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

DON'T MISS

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

DON'T MISS

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

DON'T MISS

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

DON'T MISS

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

DON'T MISS

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

UP NEXT

Californians Worry About Crime, Setting up a Ballot Measure Showdown

UP NEXT

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

UP NEXT

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

UP NEXT

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

UP NEXT

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

UP NEXT

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

UP NEXT

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

UP NEXT

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

UP NEXT

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

UP NEXT

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

1 day ago

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

1 day ago

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

1 day ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

2 days ago

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

2 days ago

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

2 days ago

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

2 days ago

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have To Execute It’: FUSD Board President

2 days ago

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

2 days ago

Get a 3D First Look at Merced’s High-Speed Rail Station Design

2 days ago

Surprising Ways and Places You Can Use SNAP EBT Food Benefits

Did you know that SNAP EBT benefits used to be called food stamps and that recipients can use those benefits to get healthy food in places o...

8 hours ago

8 hours ago

Surprising Ways and Places You Can Use SNAP EBT Food Benefits

8 hours ago

Californians Worry About Crime, Setting up a Ballot Measure Showdown

1 day ago

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

1 day ago

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

1 day ago

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

1 day ago

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

2 days ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

2 days ago

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend