Alex Jones, America’s most unhinged vitamin salesman, has been temporarily suspended from Twitter. The social media company has sent Jones to what users call “Twitter jail,” meaning that he can’t publish any tweets for the next seven days. The InfoWars Twitter account, which has just over 400,000 followers, is still active.
Jones has been banned from virtually every major social media platform over the past week, including Facebook and YouTube, but the conspiracy theorist has remained incredibly active on Twitter. The Twitter suspension is supposed to be temporary, but there are calls for Jones to be banned permanently after he and his followers harassed the families of children who died in the 2011 Sandy Hook massacre. Jones previously described the mass shooting as a hoax “with actors.”
First reported by CNN, Alex Jones will be unable to send tweets for the next week, but the operators of his account will still be able to read tweets. CNN reviewed Jones’s tweets last week and discovered that contrary to the company’s own statements, Alex Jones has violated Twitter’s rules regarding hate speech and incitement. The company’s CEO Jack Dorsey has repeatedly defended giving Jones a platform even after other tech companies banned him completely.
Jones described his current troubles with tech companies as “like a James Bond movie” in a video posted to the InfoWars Twitter account around 2am Central time today. Jones believes that the largest companies in Silicon Valley are conspiring with the Chinese government (Jones calls Chinese technology companies the “Chi-coms”) to keep him from spreading the truth.
“I’m not even worried about me at this point, this is so authoritarian, it’s just crazy how these foreign corporations got control of the U.S.,” said Jones in a video that was uncharacteristically subdued in tone.
Jones, known for his flamboyant and screaming character, stands to lose a lot of money if he can’t reach his audience through the millions of fans he’s amassed around the world on different platforms. Jones makes an estimated $18 million per year through his online sales of everything from emergency survival food to concealable body armor. But his dietary supplements are reportedly the most profitable, including products like Brain Force Plus and The Real Red Pill Plus, which are promoted by President Trump’s friend and confidant Roger Stone.
Yesterday, the main web domain for InfoWars.com experienced what Jones described as an online attack, supposedly a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack—which occurs when a website is artificially overloaded with visitors, causing it to shut down. The site still appears to have trouble loading, but Gizmodo could not independently confirm the cause.
The list of tech companies that want nothing to do with Jones grows by the day and now includes Apple, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Pinterest and others. InfoWars has also been banned by Disqus, its commenting platform, though Jones is still active on Google+, a platform that’s mostly just a ghost town at this point.
Gizmodo has reached out to Twitter with the hope of discovering why @realAlexJones was suspended while the main @InfoWars account remains untouched. We’ll update this article if we learn more.
Update, 2:22pm: Buzzfeed News is now reporting that the InfoWars account has been suspended for seven days as well.
Dorsey also appeared on NBC News calling the suspension of Jones a “timeout.”
Hopefully this seven days of suspension will give Jones some time to think about what he did and.... not call mass shootings a hoax or call for violent revolt against journalists.