Twitter permanently banned conspiracy monger Alex Jones and his website, Infowars, from Twitter’s social media platform Thursday for violating its “abusive behavior policy.”
The move is considered a blow to civil liberties and has many wondering what are its standards.
The move also has many wondering why other, arguably more abusive individuals and groups, remain.
Twitter based its decision on video Jones posted depicting him berating CNN journalist Oliver Darcy for about 10 minutes between two congressional hearings in which Dorsey testified Wednesday.
Dorsey and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg both testified on anti-conservative bias on their platforms, as well as election interference.
Twitter has suspended other high-profile users in the past, including commentator Milo Yiannopoulos, and blogger Charles Johnson.
“Today, we permanently suspended @realalexjones and @infowars from Twitter and Periscope,” Twitter announced. “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.”
Twitter’s move comes one month after Dorsey defended his decision at that time to allow Jones and Infowars to remain on his platform, after Facebook, Apple, YouTube, and Spotify removed him from theirs for purported hate speech violations.
Although social media platforms are technically not subject to First Amendment guarantees of freedom of expression, some argue that they should be treated as public utilities, making them subject to government regulation.
“What about converting the large behemoth organizations that we’re talking about here into public utilities?” asked Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa in July.
His suggestion was directed at Google’s Global Head of Public Policy and Government Relations for YouTube, Juniper Downs, and was prompted by conservative news outlets losing reach on social media.
YouTube has removed numerous videos posted by many mainstream conservative sites, including Prager University, which is run by radio-talk-show host Dennis Prager.
Prager videos that YouTube has removed include “Are the Police Racist?” “Why Don’t Feminists Fight for Muslim Women?” “Are 1 in 5 Women Raped at College?” and “The Most Important Question About Abortion.”
The most outrageous such incident occurred in October of 2016, when YouTube censored a Prager University video on … censorship.
“Get this,” tweeted Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel. “I do a Prager U video on the left shutting down the right, and Youtube censors it.”
Jones and Infowars are far outside the mainstream, however. He referred to the survivors of the February 14 mass shooting at a Parkland Fla. high school as “crisis actors.” He called the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School a “giant hoax.”
Because of his behavior, a few applauded the move.
“Glad Twitter is taking steps to put an end to the abusive behavior from Alex Jones & Infowars,” tweeted Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J. “Tweets designed to threaten, belittle, demean and silence individuals have no place on this platform.”
“@Jack, from the bottom of my heart: thank you,” wrote activist Shannon Coulter. “This will make the lives of a lot of people tangibly better.”
But as outrageous and even disgusting as Jones is, most people, especially conservatives and civil libertarians, questioned Twitter’s decision.
“Twitter’s ban of Alex Jones because they don’t like his behavior when he’s off of their website is incredibly creepy in an Orwellian sort of way and even people that hate his guts should be very concerned about it,” wrote PJ Media columnist John Hawkins.
“Twitter just permanently banned Alex Jones and InfoWars for ‘violating its abusive behaviour policy,’” wrote Daily Wire contributor Harry Khachatrian. “Louis Farrakhan and Hamas still have twitter accounts.”
“So you know that whole slippery slope thing we warned you about?” asked bloggers Chicks on the Right. “Here it is, folks.”
“Alex Jones was allowed to harass Sandy Hook parents for six years with no repercussions,” observed writer, comedian, activist Nick Jack Pappas. “He harassed Jack Dorsey for one day and was banned from Twitter.”
In addition to allowing terrorist organizations like Hamas and anti-white and anti-Semitic hate merchants like Louis Farrakhan to roam freely on Twitter, it also permits users to post pornography.
Dorsey just doesn’t want someone with nutty ideas on his social media platform.