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Friday Sep 07 2018

Twitter permanently bans Alex Jones, website Infowars

Alex Jones of Infowars talks to the media while visiting the US Senate's Dirksen Senate office building as Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, September 5, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Twitter Inc on Thursday permanently banned US conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his website Infowars from its platform and Periscope, saying in a tweet that the accounts had violated its behaviour policies.

"Today, we permanently suspended @realalexjones and @infowars from Twitter and Periscope. We took this action based on new reports of Tweets and videos posted yesterday that violate our abusive behavior policy, in addition to the accounts’ past violations,” the company tweeted.

“As we continue to increase transparency around our rules and enforcement actions, we wanted to be open about this action, given the broad interest in this case.

"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," it added.

In a video posted on the Infowars website on Thursday, Jones said, “I was taken down not because we lied but because we tell the truth and because we were popular.”

The ban came weeks after Apple, Alphabet’s YouTube, and Facebook took down podcasts and channels from Jones, citing community standards.

Jones, whose conspiracy theories include that the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre was a hoax, hosts the syndicated radio program The Alex Jones Show.

Last month, Jones lost a bid to dismiss a defamation lawsuit brought against him by the parents of a boy who was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting.

On Wednesday, Jones attended a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on ways to counteract foreign efforts to influence US elections and political discourse. Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey testified at the hearing.

Twitter said on Thursday that it would evaluate any reports regarding other accounts potentially associated with Jones and Infowars.

Last month, Twitter banned Jones and Infowars for seven days, citing tweets that it said violated the company’s rules against abusive behaviour, which state that a user may not engage in targeted harassment of someone or incite other people to do so.