Alex Jones 'hasn’t violated our rules — Twitter CEO

Tech companies gave massive platforms to conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones. Is the crackdown finally here

Tech companies gave massive platforms to conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones. Is the crackdown finally here

"We didn't suspend Alex Jones or Infowars yesterday", Dorsey said in a series of tweets late Tuesday. "We'll enforce if he does", Dorsey tweeted. Dorsey said the company was committed to promoting "a healthy conversational environment" - which included Jones.

He said he wanted the company to avoid succumbing to outside pressure but instead impartially enforce straightforward principles "regardless of political viewpoints".

Facebook, Apple, YouTube and Spotify took down over the past week material published by Jones, reflecting more aggressive enforcement of their hate speech policies after rising online backlash and raising pressure on Twitter to do the same.

Apple removed most of Jones's podcasts for violating hate speech guidelines. In fact, the app had skyrocketed from below the top ten to become the fourth most popular app in the news category - beating out the CNN and Fox News apps - by Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, the aforementioned podcasts were removed from the iTunes and Podcasts directories, meaning they're not accessible anywhere on Apple's platform. The other companies, including Facebook and Apple, cited harassment and hate speech as among the reasons they had deleted years of content from Jones, who responded by telling The Washington Post that the First Amendment was in danger. "We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions", the statement continued.

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The moves follow similar action by Apple Inc. and Spotify Technology SA.

Jones reacted to the news by tweeting a picture of himself holding a glass of champagne next to his app. "We tried treating @reddit as a silo, and it was a huge mistake".

The backlash seems to have a partisan tint, coming amid speculation that Silicon Valley's transparent user policies are being applied in a way that is biased against conservative voices on their platforms. Jones also claims the 9/11 terror attack on NY and Washington were staged by the government.

Facebook recently chose to slap the conspiracy theorist with a 30-day "time out" from Facebook, for violating its community standards. Jones has a "verified" blue tick account. Twitter has recently stepped up actions against fake accounts, but the company has admitted that it has no "scalable policy or set of product features around authenticity of content".

Jones' Instagram (owned by Facebook) account is still active, as is his Periscope account, which is owned by Twitter. Jones' catapult to fame may be, in part, explained by the relationship he maintains with President Trump, whom he interviewed in 2017.

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