Twitter has decided to permanently ban conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who has a long history of provoking and harassing mass shooting survivors and victims’ families, the company announced Thursday via its Twitter Safety account.
The account for Infowars, Jones’ media site where he spreads conspiracy theories, has also been suspended. The social media platform said it would continually monitor accounts that may be associated with Jones for rule violations.
“Today, we permanently suspended @RealAlexJones and @infowars from Twitter and Periscope,” Twitter said in a statement. “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.”
Despite the announcement of the ban, Jones used Periscope, a platform owned by Twitter, to livestream on Thursday afternoon. He did so via the account for War Room, one of his Infowars-affiliated shows.
Twitter has declined to permanently ban Jones in the past, even though users had complained he abused the platform. A number of other tech companies, including iTunes, YouTube, Spotify and Facebook, banned accounts for Jones and Infowars last month after receiving complaints about them.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey previously insisted that the company hadn’t permanently banned Jones because he hadn’t “violated the rules.” He also said he didn’t want Twitter to succumb to outside pressure and instead put the responsibility on journalists to call out disinformation campaigns.
“Accounts like Jones’ can often sensationalize issues and spread unsubstantiated rumors, so it’s critical journalists document, validate, and refute such information directly so people can form their own opinions,” Dorsey said in a Twitter thread on Aug. 7. “This is what serves the public conversation best.”
Jones was given a seven-day ban a week later, when he incited violence against journalists by telling his followers to get their “battle rifles” ready. His suspension also followed a CNN investigation that detailed a number of times Jones had seemingly violated Twitter’s rules, including posting hateful tweets linking gay rights to pedophilia and comparing Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg to Nazis.
Jones is particularly known for harassing mass shooting survivors and victims’ families. He is currently being sued for defamation by parents of a victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and a man he incorrectly identified as the gunman in the Parkland school shooting.