ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 140

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Citing freedom of speech, Musk restores X account of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones

Infowars founder Alex Jones appears in court to testify during the Sandy Hook defamation damages trial at Connecticut Superior Court in Waterbury, Connecticut on September 22, 2022. (Tyler Sizemore/Hearst Connecticut Media via AP, Pool, File)
Infowars founder Alex Jones appears in court to testify during the Sandy Hook defamation damages trial at Connecticut Superior Court in Waterbury, Connecticut on September 22, 2022. (Tyler Sizemore/Hearst Connecticut Media via AP, Pool, File)

Elon Musk has restored the X account of US conspiracy theorist Alex Jones following a poll on the social media platform formerly known as Twitter that came out in favor of the Infowars host who repeatedly called the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting a hoax.

It poses new uncertainty for advertisers, who have fled X over concerns about hate speech appearing alongside their ads.

Musk posted a poll yesterday asking if Jones should be reinstated, with the results showing 70% of those responding in favor. Early this morning, Musk tweeted: “The people have spoken and so it shall be.”

Jones’s posts are now visible again — the last one from 2018, when the company permanently banned him and his Infowars show for abusive behavior. That was before Musk bought the platform.

Musk, who has described himself as a free speech absolutist, says the move was about protecting those rights. In response to a user who posted that “permanent account bans are antithetical to free speech,” Musk writes: “I find it hard to disagree with this point.”

The billionaire Tesla CEO has also tweeted it’s likely that Community Notes — X’s crowdsourced fact-checking service — “will respond rapidly to any AJ post that needs correction.”

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