Science & Tech

InfoWars: Twitter is being asked why they won't ban Alex Jones but will ban accounts for changing their name to 'Elon Musk'

Lucas Jackson/ Reuters/ Robyn Beck/ AFP/ Twitter

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey took to the website last night to explain why they decided not to ban Alex Jones and InfoWars.

Jones's conspiracy theory website had been notably banned from several social media sites and platforms, including Facebook, YouTube, Spotify and Apple.

However, his account remains on Twitter as he hadn't violated the terms of service, as his content doesn't actually reside on the website, but is instead hosted a click away, elsewhere online.

Although Jones has been banned elsehwere for 'spreading hate speech' and conspiracy theories, he has apparently not violated Twitter's terms on 'Abuse' and 'Hateful content' which read as follows:

Abuse: You may not engage in the targeted harassment of someone, or incite other people to do so.

We consider abusive behaviour an attempt to harass, intimidate, or silence someone else’s voice.

Hateful content: You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.

Dorsey attempted to clarify Twitter's position on Alex Jones in a thread, which didn't exactly make things crystal clear.

Since Dorsey posted these tweets other Twitter users have been asking why some accounts have been suspended in the past for far lesser crimes, such as changing their username to 'Elon Musk.'

The 'Elon Musk' trend was merely an attempt by pranksters to mock the billionaire entrepreneur, but multiple accounts were shut down soon after they made the change.

Twitter decided to ban the profiles on the basis that they could be cryptocurrency scammers who were using Musk's name to reply to tweets in the hope that they could exploit others innocence.

In a statement given to The Verge Twitter explained that this policy was in keeping with their new attempts to eradicate spam from the site.

As part of our continuing efforts to combat spam and malicious activity on our service, we’re testing new measures to challenge accounts that use terms commonly associated with spam campaigns.

We are continually refining these detections based on changes in spammy activity.

Twitter's official line on impersonation is as follows:

You may not impersonate individuals, groups, or organizations in a manner that is intended to or does mislead, confuse, or deceive others.

While you may maintain parody, fan, commentary, or newsfeed accounts, you may not do so if the intent of the account is to engage in spamming or abusive behaviour. 

It's arguable that Jones' controversial rhetoric which includes claiming that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax is worst than a little joke at the expense of a very rich man but then again this is a website that refused to ban Donald Trump after he threatened to start a nuclear war.

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