Free of charge real time breaking news alerts sent straight to your inbox enroll to our breaking news emails
Enroll to our free breaking news emails
Elon Musk has revealed a caveat to his “free speech absolutist” approach to governing Twitter after allowing Donald Trump to return but refusing to reinstate conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
The Twitter account of former US president Trump reappeared over the weekend, nearly two years after he was banned within the wake of the 6 January attack on the USA Capitol.
In response to a matter from creator Sam Harris on whether he would also lift the ban for Mr Jones, the tech billionaire said that the right-wing radio host’s pushing of the Sandy Hook conspiracy theory meant that the ban would remain in place.
“My firstborn child died in my arms,” Mr Musk wrote on Twitter.
“I felt his last heartbeat. I don’t have any mercy for anyone who would use the deaths of youngsters for gain, politics or fame.”
Mr Musk rarely speaks in regards to the death of his first child, who died of sudden infant death syndrome on the age of 10 weeks in 2002.
Mr Jones gained notoriety after claiming that members of the family of youngsters killed within the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting were “crisis actors” hired in a ploy to enact greater gun control within the US.
The Infowars host and his company has been ordered to pay $1.44 billion in damages to the families for promoting the false conspirary theory, following lawsuits in Texas and Connecticut.
Mr Jones was also permanently banned from several major tech platforms, including Facebook and YouTube, because of this of violating their terms of service.
Twitter said in 2018 that the ban was a results of Mr Jones breaching the corporate’s abusive beganiour policy.
Mr Musk has previously referred to himself as a “free speech absolutist” and promised to overhaul Twitter’s content moderation policies after taking up the social media giant last month in a deal value $44 billion.
The reinstatement of Mr Trump doesn’t appear to adapt to any specific recent rules, and likewise doesn’t align with the rationale given for not allowing Mr Jones back on the platform, as the previous president has also consistently used Twitter to advertise conspiracy theories.
Most notably, Mr Trump pushed a widely discredited theory of mass voting fraud throughout the 2020 US presidential elections, which not directly led to the storming of the Capitol in January 2021.