Twitter permanently banned far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones after posts and videos including a 10-minute rant against CNN journalist Oliver Darcy outside of a Senate hearing that violated the company’s abusive behavior policy.
Twitter, which had been the last major social media network to give Jones a platform, said it permanently suspended the accounts of both the provocateur and his website, InfoWars, and would “evaluate” other accounts linked to them if they were used to evade the ban.
A day earlier, Jones used Twitter and Periscope to post his confrontation of Darcy outside a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on foreign manipulation of social media. While lawmakers are scrutinizing the progress of Facebook and Twitter in preventing disinformation campaigns like those Russia used during the 2016 election, conservatives have worried that the firms, based in liberal-leaning Silicon Valley, will use the safeguards as an excuse to suppress conservative voices.
[Related: Marco Rubio urges media to stop giving Alex Jones the spotlight: 'We're making crazy people superstars']
We will continue to evaluate reports we receive regarding other accounts potentially associated with @realalexjones or @infowars and will take action if content that violates our rules is reported or if other accounts are utilized in an attempt to circumvent their ban.— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) September 6, 2018
Jones, who has also complained about suppression, accused Darcy of using his reporting to convince companies to shut down "conservative and libertarian speech" and repeated President Trump's description of the network as "fake news." Darcy seldom responded to Jones, who compared him with both the Hitler Youth and Judas Iscariot, the disciple who, according to Biblical accounts, betrayed Christ for 30 pieces of silver.
The same day, Jones crashed a broadcast interview with Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, calling him a “little gangster thug.” On Thursday, he appeared aggrieved by the Twitter ban, but unbowed.
"I was taken down not because we lie, but because we tell the truth," he said in a video posted on the InfoWars website, where he blamed the ban on his confrontation of Darcy, whom he described as a "monster that has abused us and lied about us and taken away our free speech" and "Lord Rubio."
Jones, who is notorious for pushing conspiracy theories about events such as the Sandy Hook shooting, was banned from Apple, Facebook, and YouTube in August for violating their codes of conduct, though Infowars was posting on Facebook on Thursday.