Elon Musk’s social media platform X has restored Alex Jones’s account, years after the InfoWars host was permanently suspended when the site was known as Twitter.
“The people have spoken and so it shall be,” Mr. Musk wrote on Dec. 10.
Hours after the poll was conducted, Mr. Jones’s account was again visible, and he had re-posted a comment about his new video game. His account, which has begun to accumulate followers, currently has about 1 million. He has yet to post anything original.
It’s unclear if the InfoWars X account was reinstated.
Mr. Musk, who has said he’s a free speech absolutist, wrote that the move was about protecting free speech. He has previously said that permanent suspensions should be used sparingly.
In response to an X user who wrote that “permanent account bans are antithetical to free speech,” Mr. Musk wrote, “I find it hard to disagree with this point.”
Right after Mr. Musk’s takeover, the social media platform implemented several modifications, including changing its name and revisiting its policies. It also reinstated previously suspended accounts including that of former President Donald Trump, who was suspended in early 2021, but the 45th president has posted only once on X, instead opting to use his own Truth Social platform.
Mr. Musk has since sought to reassure users and advertisers that such a decision would be made with the consideration of a content moderation council composed of people with “widely diverse viewpoints” and no account reinstatements would happen before the council convened.
Separately, Mr. Musk in November cursed out advertisers that have fled X over content that they’ve deemed objectionable. Multiple firms, such as Disney, Comcast, and IBM, have confirmed that they won’t be advertising anymore on the platform.
The Tesla CEO said at the event that those advertisers are trying to “blackmail” him. “Don’t advertise,” Mr. Musk said.
“Go [expletive] yourself. Is that clear? I hope it is. Hey, Bob, if you’re in the audience,” he said, in an apparent reference to Bob Iger, chief executive of Disney.
Last week, a user pointed out that Disney appears to still be advertising on Meta’s social media platforms, drawing criticism from the X owner.
ReversalAllowing Mr. Jones back on the platform is a turnaround for Mr. Musk, who had previously stated that he wouldn’t do so because of his claims made about the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012.
Last year, Mr. Musk pointed to the death of one of his children and wrote, “I have no mercy for anyone who would use the deaths of children for gain, politics, or fame.”
It comes as Mr. Jones filed for bankruptcy in December 2022 after being ordered to pay about $1.5 billion in damages for his Sandy Hook claims. Mr. Jones has appealed judgments in connection to lawsuits that were filed by the families, saying he didn’t get fair trials and that his speech was lawful under the Constitution’s First Amendment.
During a court hearing in Houston, Mr. Jones’s personal bankruptcy lawyer, Vickie Driver, said that the offer was too high and unrealistic for him to pay.
“There are no financials that will ever show that Mr. Jones ever made that. ... in 10 years.”