- Alex Jones’ X account has been restored, five years after Twitter permanently banned him.
- Elon Musk reinstated the account after polling X users on the matter.
- Jones is best known for spreading the conspiracy theory that the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax.
Elon Musk has restored the X account of Alex Jones, the Infowars founder who was permanently banned from the platform formerly known as Twitter more than five years ago.
Jones, a far-right commentator best known for pushing the conspiracy theory that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax, returned to the website on Sunday and reposted a number of celebratory messages.
Musk reinstated Jones’ account after consulting users in a poll. The results showed that 70.1% of the users who participated favored bringing Jones back to the platform.
“The people have spoken and so it shall be,” Musk wrote early Sunday morning.
Since Musk bought X in October 2022, he has restored a number of prominent banned accounts, including those belonging to Donald Trump, Andrew Tate, and Kanye West.
But until December 7, Musk had refused to consider restoring Jones’ account despite his purported commitment to free speech on the platform. Citing Jones’ views on the Sandy Hook shooting, Musk said last year he had “no mercy for anyone who would use the deaths of children for gain, politics, or fame.”
“My first child died in my arms. I felt his last heartbeat,” Musk said.
Jones has fielded numerous legal challenges as a result of spreading the Sandy Hook conspiracy theory. In November 2022, Jones was ordered to pay over $1.4 billion in damages to the families of eight Sandy Hook shooting victims, who had sued Jones for defamation. Jones had used his Infowars platform to accuse the families of being “crisis actors,” exposing them to harassment and death threats.
Twitter ultimately banned Jones in September 2018, saying his tweets and videos violated the company’s “abusive behavior policy.” Jones had posted a video in which he shouted at a CNN reporter and told him he had “the eyes of a rat.”
When users pointed this out to Musk on December 7, Musk responded, “That is certainly not a valid reason for suspension.”