Twitter on Thursday announced it had banned far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from its platform as well as the account of Infowars, the website he operates.
“Today, we permanently suspended @realalexjones and @infowars from Twitter and Periscope,” the social network said.
“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.”
The announcement came a day after President Donald Trump’s administration warned of a possible legal crackdown on big technology companies over competition or political bias, a bombshell announcement that came as social media executives were defending their policies before lawmakers.
The Justice Department statement appeared to escalate a war between the administration and Silicon Valley after a series of attacks by Trump claiming tech firms were biased against conservatives.
The suggestions of legal or regulatory action caught many tech industry observers by surprise and came as lawmakers were holding hearings on foreign influence campaigns on social media and “transparency.”
Twitter had previously resisted calls to ban Jones, though it prevented him from posting on his account for a week last month.
Jones is best known for disputing the veracity of the September 11 attacks, the Sandy Hook school massacre and other events. He had almost 900,000 followers on Twitter before he was banned.
Trump Twitter-snarls at ‘Impeachment Day’ protesters as the product of ‘Radical Left Democrats’
President Donald Trump lashed out at Impeachment Day protesters on Twitter on Sunday morning, downplaying their efforts after seeing a report on Fox News.
Taking to Twitter the president wrote, "Yesterday was the Radical Left Democrats big Impeachment day. They worked so hard to make it something really big and special but had one problem - almost nobody showed up. “The Media admits low turnout for anti-Trump rallies ...saying enough. Democrat voters want to hear the politicians talking about issues. This is a huge distraction and will only help Donald Trump get elected. 'Greatest President since Ronald Reagan' said a counter-protester. LehighValleyLive."
Trump’s first term: hits and misses
"Promises made, promises kept," goes one of President Donald Trump's main 2020 reelection slogans. Is that true?
Here are some of the key policy hits and misses -- comparing his accomplishments to his promises -- from a tumultuous first term.
- HITS -
The economy will be Trump's major selling point.
GDP grew 3.1 percent in the first quarter of 2019 and the last recession was a decade ago. Unemployment is at a 50-year low of 3.6 percent.
Trump's frequent claim that the economy is probably "the best" in US history is an exaggeration, though.
Economists see growing dangers, including exploding government debt and growing backlash from Trump's aggressive trade policies, especially with China.
The racist roots of American policing
But tensions between the police and black communities are nothing new.
There are many precedents to the Ferguson, Missouri protests that ushered in the Black Lives Matter movement. Those protests erupted in 2014 after a police officer shot unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown; the officer was subsequently not indicted.