Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones will not return to Twitter and remains banned from the platform, according to his new owner Elon Musk.
Musk said Friday that Jones’ account will not be restored, despite pleas from some users, and spent the weekend defending the decision even as Twitter tried to restore other suspended accounts, including that of former President Donald Trump.
“No,” Musk smoothly tweeted in response to a user’s request to use Jones again on Twitter.
Musk explained his position Sunday night, quote Bible references and his own personal experience of cot death to explain his opposition to Jones, who was sentenced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in damages for lying about the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school shooting.
“My first born child died in my arms. I felt his last heartbeat,” Musk said tweeted. “I have no mercy for anyone who would use the deaths of children for gain, politics or fame.”
The Jones announcement sparked a flurry of responses, with some Twitter users praising Musk for continuing to deny Jones a platform, while others, including some of Jones’ own self-confessed supporters, said it showed Musk’s inconsistent and arbitrary endorsement of the Principles of Freedom of Speech.
After a Twitter user criticized Musk’s decision and expressed disappointment at Jones not being allowed to return to Twitter, Musk said answered: “Pity.”
In a response video posted to alternative video site Rumble on Friday, Jones said he doesn’t care if he’s allowed to return to Twitter, listing various other digital platforms where his content is still accessible.
“At the end of the day, don’t blame Musk for not bringing me back,” Jones urged his followers. “I am the most controversial figure in the world because I am the most threatening of the new world order. So don’t expect him to bring me back on day one.”
While Musk seemingly drew a line under Jones’ conspiracy theories about school shootings, he has taken a more outspoken stance on misinformation about Covid-19. On Monday, Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene said her personal account has been restored after it was suspended from Twitter earlier this year for repeated violations of its Covid-19 platform guidelines.
At the time, Twitter banned Greene for sharing a spreadsheet misleadingly linking deaths to the Covid-19 vaccines despite authoritative scientific research showing the vaccines are safe and effective.
“My account is back,” Greene tweeted from their official congressional account. A visit to Greene’s personal profile Monday afternoon revealed that her tweets were indeed viewable again.
Greene herself has drawn criticism for her support of several fringe beliefs, including previously her endorsement of a conspiracy theory claiming the Sandy Hook shooting was a staged event. Her account was also observed liking social media posts calling for the death penalty for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and tweeting that she hoped Pelosi would lose her memory in prison.
The decisions underscore the chaotic and seemingly improvisational leadership style that has shaped Musk’s ownership of one of the world’s leading social media platforms.
Musk’s decision on Jones, made abruptly and definitively, stood in sharp contrast to the billionaire’s approach to Trump – which was based on an unscientific Twitter poll the results of which Musk attempted to portray than the will of the people, also as he recommended The poll was rigged by anti-Trump bots while the vote was still open.
The account decisions seem to hark back to his as well Promise Not to make any “major content decisions or account restorations” before convening a new Content Moderation Council. On Nov. 9, Musk told advertisers during a Twitter Spaces event that it could be months before the council meets for the first time.