The outspoken, right-wing, conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones has had a bad 24 hours after his controversial views have had him temporarily banned from Twitter, having already been barred from other social platforms. Plus users have experienced outage of his group, InfoWars' website.
The American radio show host has been blocked from tweeting on his verified account for a week, but the social network hadn't confirmed why it has taken this action. Although, some believe that it's in response to a link to a video Jones shared with his 890k followers, it was accompanied by a call to action ready their "battle rifles".
Even before the suspension, the InfoWars broadcaster was already directing his followers to Tumblr after he was banned from several social media platforms in the last few days.
Jones' content, including posts, videos, photos and podcasts, have already been removed from Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, iTunes, Spotify and TuneIn. He's also been banned from using the email marketing platform MailChimp. The reason given for these bans is that InfoWars is in violation of hate speech rules. However, Twitter is actually one of the few services not to ban Jones outright.
"The most prolific conspiracy theorist in contemporary America."
Southern Poverty Law Center
Just hours before his Twitter suspension, Jones posted on the platform about an ongoing attack on his website, InfoWars.com, a site devoted to conspiracy theories and fake news. According to the message posted on the account, @RealAlexJones, "InfoWars.com has been taken down! The deep state working with the democrats are making their move against America!"
The website, which is currently unreachable, is most likely under pressure from a denial-of-service attack (DDoS). The site's editor, a fellow online conspiracy theorist, Paul Joseph Watson, tweeted to confirm the attack, "this has been happening all week following CNN's lobbying campaign to have us banned. We are currently working to restore the website."
Alex Jones' website has now been down since 14th August, 2018. It's not known if this is still as a result of DDoS attack, which was first reported three days earlier, or if the outage could be due to legal issues.
Alex Jones has called the banning a conspiracy in its own right. He says "big tech" are trying to censor conservative viewpoints ahead of the 2018 midterm election and the 2020 presidential election.
However, most of these tech firms took the decision to remove Jones and InfoWars from their platforms as they felt he was using it to spread hate and insight violence. While some conspiracy theories can be fun and harmless, the fake news that Jones circulates includes claims that "crisis actor" play the roles of fake victims in government-staged terrorist attacks like 9/11 and the Oklahoma City bombing.
The far-right pundit, who's a supporter of claims that the Moon landings were faked and that several governments and large corporations have colluded to create a "New World Order", has also controversially spoken out about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
According to the conspiracy theorist, Sandy Hook was just one of the US government's manufactured events, which he claims was designed to help the global elitists to take away guns from Americans. Not only did Jones tell his millions of followers that the whole massacre was completely fabricated, he also stated that the victims shown in news reports were actors.
As a result of his claims, the families of the victims have been threatened and harassed by those who believe Jones' fake news. This has lead the parents of six-year-old Noah Pozner are suing Jones and InfoWars for defamation, saying he had made "false, cruel, and dangerous assertions". Noah was one of the 26 killed during the tragedy.
Although everyone has a right to free speech, many of Jones' claims are dangerous and insensitive to the very real victims of the very real events, which the broadcaster belittles, trivialises and labels as fake.
Although InfoWars has been banned from many platforms, the organisation is still able to peddle its fake news and conspiracies via Tumblr and Twitter. Despite Jones' personal Twitter account being suspended, the separate, "sub-account" @InfoWars is still able to post to more than 400k followers. The blogging platform Tumblr, which is owned by Oath Inc., a subsidiary of Verizon, is also yet to respond to criticism and ban Jones.