Accessibility links

Breaking News

Twitter Puts Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones in 'Timeout'


FILE - Alt-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones speaks during a rally near the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, July 18, 2016.

Twitter announced Tuesday it had limited the account of alt-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for a week, following a post where he tweeted a link to a video calling for followers to have "rifles ready" against members of the media.

"We can confirm that the account currently has limited functionality," a Twitter spokesperson told VOA. "We haven't suspended the account but are requiring tweets which contained a broadcast in violation of our rules are deleted."

Jones will not be able to tweet or retweet from the account for a week. His earlier tweets are still visible on the website, and the account for his outlet InfoWars, on which he hosts The Alex Jones Show, has not been affected.

Jones, who has nearly 900,000 followers on his personal account, has gained notoriety for peddling discredited conspiracy theories, among them that the 9/11 and Sandy Hook Elementary School attacks were hoaxes set up by the U.S. government.

In recent months, Jones has been thrust into the spotlight as parents of the children killed in the Sandy Hook shooting are suing him, alleging that he exposed their personal information on his show. In July, he appeared to threaten to shoot U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Twitter's guidelines against harmful conductor specifically prevent "wishes for the physical harm, death, or disease of individuals or groups," as well as "behavior that incites fear about a protected group."

"We do not tolerate behavior that harasses, intimidates, or uses fear to silence another person's voice," the guidelines read.

Earlier this month, major social media/tech platforms such as iTunes, YouTube, Facebook and Spotify removed Jones' content from their sites, citing inflammatory comments Jones had made against Muslim and transgender people.

Twitter did not take any action at that time, drawing criticism from users. In a post, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said Jones had not violated any rules.

Yet on Tuesday, following the "rifles ready" comment, Twitter restricted Jones' account.

"I believe we put him a timeout," Dorsey told NBC News. "But this is consistent with how we enforce."

On Monday's edition of his show, which is still available on the InfoWars website, Jones called Dorsey an ally in his fight against "the evil, anti-human, mark of the beast, one world government, Chinese social score plan."

"Whether [Jones' account being limited] works within this case to change some of those behaviors and change some of those actions, I don't know," Dorsey told NBC.