ECONOMY & WORK
MONEY 101
NEWS
PERSONAL FINANCE
NET WORTH
About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use DMCA Opt-out of personalized ads
© Copyright 2023 Market Analyst. Market Analyst is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.
Market Analyst Logo
Market Analyst Logo
MARKETANALYST.US / NEWS

All About Musk's Decision to Restore Right Wing Accounts and its Impact on Upcoming Polls

Musk admitted that reinstating Alex Jones could have negative financial implications for X but argued that principles outweigh monetary considerations.
PUBLISHED APR 7, 2024
Image Source:  Slaven Vlasic | Gary Miller | Getty Images
Image Source: Slaven Vlasic | Gary Miller | Getty Images

Twitter acknowledged the role that social media can play in swaying elections, and had decided to suspend accounts including that of former US President Donald Trump to stem the flow of misinformation. But ever since he took over the social media platform, Elon Musk has been restoring controversial accounts that had been taken down by his predecessor. Among the many personalities that made a comeback to Twitter, now known as X, right-wing influencer Alex Jones is expected to play a role in upcoming presidential polls. Musk conducted an informal poll on Saturday (December 9, 2023), with about 70% of nearly 2 million respondents voting in favor of reinstating Jones, per CNN. Musk responded, "The people have spoken and so it shall be," and Jones' account was active again by early Sunday (December 10) morning. Musk's decision may have further repercussions for X as companies distance themselves from the platform due to a surge in hate speech and conspiracy theories.

Image Source: InfoWars founder Alex Jones speaks to the media outside Waterbury Superior Court during his trial | Photo by Joe Buglewicz | Getty Images
InfoWars founder Alex Jones speaks to the media outside Waterbury Superior Court during his trial | Photo by Joe Buglewicz | Getty Images

In recent weeks, several major advertisers have departed from the platform due to concerns about brand safety and hate speech, spurred by Elon Musk's endorsement of an antisemitic conspiracy theory in November 2023, per CNN. Despite Musk's apology, the advertiser boycott persists, potentially threatening the platform's future. Musk admitted that reinstating Alex Jones could have negative financial implications for X but argued that principles outweigh monetary considerations, emphasizing his stance as a free speech absolutist. While Musk previously stated he wouldn't lift the ban on Jones due to false claims about the Sandy Hook shooting, recent pressure from right-wing allies following an interview with Tucker Carlson prompted a shift in Musk's position. Acknowledging disagreement with Jones' views, Musk raised the question “Are we a platform that believes in freedom of speech or are we not?" Jones is widely recognized for spreading disinformation and conspiracy theories.



Jones, widely known for falsely claiming that the tragic Sandy Hook massacre, where 20 children and six adults lost their lives, was a hoax, has been legally compelled to compensate the victims' families with over $1 billion. This substantial amount is a consequence of his spreading false information about the shooting, causing immense distress to the grieving parents and subjecting them to real-world harassment.

The recent decision to reinstate Jones' account aligns with the pattern of choices made by Musk since he acquired the social media platform for $44 billion last year. Musk has similarly allowed the return of Donald Trump's account and has welcomed back individuals with extremist and racist views who were previously banned before his ownership of the website.

Twitter permanently banned Alex Jones and other accounts associated with his website, Infowars, in 2018. This decision was made due to abusive behavior, following similar actions taken by YouTube, Apple, and Facebook. Twitter's move to permanently ban Jones occurred after he targeted CNN reporter Oliver Darcy in a right-wing extremist and hateful manner on Capitol Hill, live-streaming the encounter on the platform. Darcy had been actively reporting on Jones' false claims and offensive conduct, prompting questions about why Jones had not been removed from major social media platforms earlier, despite repeatedly violating their rules on hate and harassment.

During the incident on Capitol Hill, Jones verbally attacked Darcy for over 10 minutes, making derogatory remarks about the CNN reporter of Middle Eastern descent, labeling him as anti-American, degrading him as subhuman, and likening him to vermin. Earlier that day, Jones had also similarly confronted Senator Marco Rubio.

Twitter's safety team, in a series of tweets at the time, explained, "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’ previous violations." A month later, Twitter extended the ban to include more than a dozen additional accounts associated with the Infowars website.

Image Source:  InfoWars founder Alex Jones speaks to the media outside Waterbury Superior Court during his trial | Photo by Joe Buglewicz | Getty Images
InfoWars founder Alex Jones speaks to the media outside Waterbury Superior Court during his trial | Photo by Joe Buglewicz | Getty Images

Previously, Musk declared that he would not restore Alex Jones' account even as he brought back other controversial figures. The billionaire justified his stance by referencing Bible verses and drawing from his personal experience of losing his first child to sudden infant death syndrome.

In a tweet, Musk shared, "My firstborn child died in my arms. I felt his last heartbeat. I have no mercy for anyone who would use the deaths of children for gain, politics, or fame." When some users expressed frustration with Musk's decision not to reinstate Jones' account, Musk responded with a blunt "Too bad."

POPULAR ON MARKET REALIST
MORE ON MARKET REALIST