Twitter appears to have notified a number of establishment media publications ahead of its permanent ban of Alex Jones, while neglecting to inform conservative media.
A tweet from CNN’s Oliver Darcy was published at 4:45 p.m. eastern time, coinciding precisely with Twitter publicly announcing the ban. CNN could not have written the article beforehand unless Twitter notified them of its decision in advance.
Today, we permanently suspended @realalexjones and @infowars from Twitter and Periscope. We took this action based on new reports of Tweets and videos posted yesterday that violate our abusive behavior policy, in addition to the accounts’ past violations. https://t.co/gckzUAV8GL
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) September 6, 2018
Darcy is the CNN “journalist” who repeatedly agitated for Twitter to purge Alex Jones, publishing articles about the Infowars host’s alleged terms of service violations. Darcy would eventually catalyze Jones’ ban, which Twitter justified by referencing Jones’ heated exchange with Darcy at yesterday’s congressional hearings with big tech executives. Along with Democrat politicians, CNN has ceaselessly lobbied for its competitors in the alternative media to be blacklisted online.
Twitter said the video of Jones calling Darcy an “anti-American, anti-free speech coward” constituted “abusive behavior,” even though it was conducted outside of the platform (Twitter gave itself the authority to police users for offsite behavior earlier this year).
Other establishment publications that ran full articles on Jones’ ban at the same time as Twitter’s announcement included BuzzFeed News, the Associated Press, and the New York Times.
BREAKING: Twitter is permanently banning conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and Infowars for abusive behavior.
— The Associated Press (@AP) September 6, 2018
BREAKING: Twitter is banning Alex Jones and Infowars for violating their abusive behavior policy. https://t.co/jrpjSec1vy
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) September 6, 2018
Twitter has banned Alex Jones for violating its abusive behavior policy. The network was the last holdout after other tech platforms blocked him. https://t.co/O2mJvoe9qz
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 6, 2018
No conservative-leaning media source appears to have received advance notice. A source at Fox News said they “hadn’t heard anything” ahead of the ban. Fox did not run an article on Jones’ ban until an hour after Twitter’s announcement. The Wall Street Journal posted an article several hours after the ban as well.
Infowars editor-at-large Paul Joseph Watson said: “Silicon Valley and mainstream media are working hand in hand to silence competing voices. This is clearly harmful to the very spirit of the First Amendment and must be stopped now. Social media is the public square. It’s time it was legally treated that way.”