Infowars host Alex Jones is seen in this 2017 file photo.
Twitter is confronted with the heat for the decision not to ban conspiracy theorist Alex Jones of the platform, to the breaking of the ranks with Facebook, Apple, Google and Spotify, all of which banned him or deleted his podcasts.
The company is resisting the pressure to follow, to clarify that Jones has still not broken his rules.
“We welcome everyone to express themselves on our service. Sometimes these expressions is offensive, controversial, and/or bigoted,” Twitter said in a Tuesday blog post. “We prohibit targeted behaviour that intimidates, threatens, or uses fear to silence others and take action when they violate our policies.”
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The microblogging platform, which has been dogged by accusations that it is not enough to protect the users of hate and misinformation, said that it will only take action against the accounts for harassment if they are specifically @-mention or tag another account, or threaten violence.
Despite the fact that it is prohibited by a number of high-tech companies, and having podcasts deleted, the Infowars iPhone app was the fourth most popular news app in the App Store on Tuesday, according to screen grabs shared online.
Alex Jones’ claim that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting is a hoax reed families in hiding after online harassment and death threats. All major content platforms are complicit in this behavior—and today, @Twitter has chosen to stay. https://t.co/iifheEPwOi
— Blake Boldt (@BlakeBoldt) August 8, 2018
“If people subscribe to a conspiracy theorist’s ravings encourage the harassment of parents of murdered children, it is not the fault of the platform hosting are dangerous is for free — it is up to journalists to not be hard enough to convince the crazy people to believe in the reality.” https://t.co/hNlKCX8DoG
— Scott Bixby (@scottbix) August 8, 2018
However, Jones did threaten to “take” U. S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller—the call of the man who is responsible for the investigation of suspected Russian cooperation with the Americans is a “monster” in a video posted on YouTube while miming a gun in his hand.
The truth is that we really are in the interpretation of our decisions in the past. We are trying to solve. We’re going to hold Jones to the same standard we hold for every account, not taking one-off actions to make us feel good in the short term, and the adding of oil to new conspiracy theories.
— jack (@jack) August 8, 2018
Multiple users on Twitter pointed out the apparent inconsistency of the Twitter policy.
CEO Jack Dorsey also tried to clarify the position of the company in a series of tweets, saying that while Jones had not violated the Twitter rules, the company will “continue with the promotion of a healthy conversational environment by ensuring tweets are not artificially enhanced.”
Dorsey also appeared to refer to the decisions made by other big tech companies in recent days to shut down Jones Infowars.
Christopher Carbone is a reporter and news editor covering science and technology for FoxNews.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @christocarbone.