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After defending the decision to not ban Alex Jones from its platform earlier this month, Twitter has now temporarily restricted the far-right commentator’s account.
A Twitter spokesperson confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Jones’ personal account now has limited functionality on the social media platform. Jones has not been suspended, but the restriction requires tweets that “contained a broadcast in violation of our rules” to be deleted.
The tweet that sparked action from Twitter violated company policies against abusive behavior. In the limited state, Jones will still be able to browse Twitter, but he can only send direct messages to followers and cannot tweet, retweet, follow or like any posts.
The suspension is for seven days. He last tweeted on Tuesday night.
In an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey called the suspension a “timeout” and said “any suspension, whether it be a permanent one or a temporary one, makes someone think about their actions and their behaviors.” When Holt, whose full interview with Dorsey will air on NBC Nightly News on Wednesday evening, pushed back on whether Jones will change his actions, Dorsey responded, “I don’t know. We have found that it does have the potential to change — impact and change behavior.”
Twitter has been one of the few companies to hold off on banning or removing accounts linked to Jones or his right-wing media brand InfoWars, which is known for spreading conspiracy theories and misinformation. The @InfoWars account is not affected by the restriction.
Dorsey had defended the platform’s decision not to ban Jones after tech companies Apple, Spotify, Facebook and YouTube took action earlier this month.
Dorsey, at the time, said that Jones couldn’t be banned because he didn’t violate Twitter’s rules. “Truth is, we’ve been terrible at explaining our decisions in the past,” the co-founder said in a Twitter thread. “We’re fixing that. We’re going to hold Jones to the same standard we hold to every account, not taking one-off actions to make us feel good in the short term, and adding fuel to new conspiracy theories.”
Online communities had expressed anger that the social media platforms had not taken action on Jones’ accounts. Apple was first to remove all but one podcast produced by Jones and InfoWars, citing “hate speech.” Facebook, YouTube and Spotify have since cracked down on accounts associated with Jones. Video platform Vimeo has removed an account belonging to InfoWars.
Aug. 15, 10:29 a.m. Updated with Dorsey’s comments on NBC News.
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