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Love him or hate him, Alex Jones is back. After getting booted off all social media platforms more than five years ago, Elon Musk just reinstated his accounts on Twitter/X.
How the Alex Jones ban happened
In 2018, Apple, Spotify, YouTube, and FaceBook banned Alex Jones and his InfoWars pages within a short time frame, claiming that he spread hate speech. About a month later, Twitter banned him, too.
I was never an Alex Jones follower. ZeroHedge was the only alternative news site I followed before 2020. I heard he was the guy who had been kicked off social media for insulting Sandy Hook families, and that was it.
However, when Russell Brand interviewed Alex Jones in November I was willing to listen. In that discussion, Alex stated that the Sandy Hook parents did not file their lawsuits for more than two years after he had made any public statements about the massacre
One could say that Alex Jones is fabricating this to make himself look like a victim, but further digging confirms his statement. When Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey initially banned Alex, he said that the ban was for spreading hate speech, though he never specified what, exactly, Alex had said. However, in an interview with Joe Rogan, independent journalist Tim Poole, and Twitter’s Lead of Trust and Safety, Legal, and Public Policy Vijaya Gadde, Dorsey later admitted that Alex was kicked off for being mean to CNN reporter Oliver Darcy. The Sandy Hook comments had nothing to do with it.
Alex Jones has been right A LOT.
The ban over a petty run-in with a CNN reporter revealed how much legacy media really hates Alex, and it’s not because he is insensitive. It’s because, mixed in with the yelling and hyperbole, he gets a lot of things right. As Tucker has said, they don’t bother deplatforming Flat-Earthers.
For example, Alex’s statement about chemicals “turning frogs gay” is regularly trotted out as an example of how crazy he is, but there is real science behind it.
I didn’t first hear about chemicals turning frogs gay from Alex Jones. I learned about it in a wildlife ecology class a couple of decades ago. Of course, the professor didn’t say, “Chemicals are making everything gay.” He said amphibian populations were collapsing worldwide and that scientists suspected the pseudo-estrogens found in birth control pills were negatively affecting the ability of amphibians to breed.
Real research into this has been done. A paper was released in 2016 confirming that exposure to pseudo-estrogens in sewage can result in the complete feminization of male amphibians.
Of course, those scientific statements are boring and difficult. Much of Alex’s appeal is that he’s so darn entertaining. He takes bits of factual information and makes them accessible to the kind of people who want to know what’s going on, but don’t have the time or energy to wade through the scientific papers, the United Nations White Papers, or the government documents that Alex does.
Now, Alex Jones does not get everything right.
But he has a large platform, and he gets things right often enough that legacy media would really prefer he just shut up and went away.
For more than five years, Alex was hidden. You had to specifically go to his InfoWars site to find his material. It didn’t pop up in any search engines, and it wasn’t getting suggested in any of your news feeds.
Joe Rogan hosted Alex Jones three times between 2017 and 2020, in podcasts #911, #1255, and #1555. These Joe Rogan interviews were the closest Alex Jones got to coming out of his InfoWars shell during his ban. Many people (myself included) considered him entertaining but unreliable and weren’t particularly bothered by his absence from the public square.
I should have been. Daisy saw what was going on. When she wrote about Jones’ ban back in 2018, she noted that what was happening to Alex could happen to any one of us, and she was right. During Covid, deplatforming was no longer limited to fat, sweaty men delivering epic rants about demon spawn. Prestigious doctors like Dr. Jay Bhattacharya and Dr. Robert Malone found themselves lumped in with Alex Jones, and those on the sidelines were forced to reconsider what we thought about censorship.
As more and more alternative media figures came under fire, more people were willing to take a second look at Alex. On December 7, Tucker Carlson hosted him.
Ep. 46 The Alex Jones Interview
2:46 Alex Jones predictions
21:59 Dividing us on race
25:37 The border
32:12 New World Order
42:09 Brian Stelter demon video
1:16:22 Presidential… pic.twitter.com/IsJAQDUzDc
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) December 7, 2023
The Tucker interview was wide-ranging and interesting, and the only rant featured was an old clip of Jones shouting about Brian Stelter, who quite frankly deserves everything Alex threw at him. So far, the hour-plus interview has garnered more than 20 million views. On December 9, Elon Musk polled Twitter/X users about whether or not Jones should be reinstated, and 70% voted yes. On December 10, Alex’s account was reinstated.
The establishment media isn’t one bit happy about it. Here’s just a snippet of the top dismayed headlines about the restoration of his account on X.
So, should free speech enthusiasts rest on our laurels?
Worldwide, restrictions on speech are still being tightened. We wrote about Europe’s Digital Services Act back in July, and it has now come into effect. The UK has its Online Safety Bill, which it claims makes internet usage in Britain the safest in the world, but in reality, allows the government to scan through all users’ files to look for illegal activity.
Ireland’s new executive chairperson of its Media Commission, Jeremy Godfrey, has already doubled his department to 75 people and wants to bring it up to 250 speech enforcers by the end of 2024. Online speech enforcement is still in its early stages relative to the desires of the people in power.
All over the West, governments seem to be involved in valiant efforts to silence those who dissent.
And then there’s Elon himself. I am profoundly grateful to him for opening up the Twitter Files for the world to see. If it wasn’t for Elon Musk, we wouldn’t have any idea how extensive the censorship leviathan truly is.
But Elon Musk is still a flawed human being. He has his vulnerabilities, too.
It’s possible that Twitter will be cut off from other parts of the world. France’s Digital Minister Jean-Noël Barrot publicly threatened to give Twitter the boot if they don’t comply with the Digital Services Act. If Twitter lets Alex Jones back on, but then the entire platform gets banned from the European Union, is that really a victory?
During his interview with Russell Brand, Alex told him that he was trying to channel the energy of love rather than rage these days. I will believe that when I see it. I would love to see Alex Jones’s seemingly boundless energy channeled toward truth, love, and forgiveness. Only time will tell.
What do you think about Alex Jones being reinstated on X?
What are your thoughts on Alex Jones’s reinstatement? Is it a victory for free speech? What are your thoughts on Jones himself? Do you think the trend of fighting censorship will continue?
Let’s discuss it in the comments section.
About Marie Hawthorne
A lover of novels and cultivator of superb apple pie recipes, Marie spends her free time writing about the world around her.