Dec 10, 2023 - Technology

Elon Musk restores Alex Jones' X account

Alex Jones speaks to the media outside Waterbury Superior Court during his trial

Alex Jones speaks to the media outside Waterbury Superior Court in Sept. 2022 in Connecticut. Photo: Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images

Elon Musk announced early Sunday he is reinstating far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' account on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Why it matters: Jones, most famous for promoting the conspiracy that the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax, was permanently banned from the platform in 2018.

  • Jones' show, Infowars, was also permanently banned from Twitter in 2018.
  • By reinstating Jones, Musk backtracked on his promise last year that he would not allow Jones back on the platform.

State of play: On Saturday, Musk posted a poll to his account asking users if Jones should be reinstated on the platform.

  • About 70% of nearly 2 million respondents voted "yes."
  • "The people have spoken and so it shall be," Musk posted Sunday.
  • Hours later, Jones' posts were visible on the platform again and he had retweeted a post about his video game, AP reported.

Jones filed for bankruptcy last year after being ordered to pay almost $1.5 billion in damages for falsely claiming the Sandy Hook mass shooting was a hoax.

The big picture: Third-party researchers have repeatedly claimed that X has become more toxic since Elon Musk's takeover.

  • The Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) accused X in June and September this year of failing to contain hate speech on the platform.
  • The company has persistently denied these accusations. In August, X filed a lawsuit against CCDH, accusing the watchdog of making "false" claims.
  • Musk last month took a defiant stance towards advertisers boycotting the platform over antisemitism and other hate speech.
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