Elon Musk said Saturday that he will consider allowing right-wing provocateur and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to return to X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. Mr Jones was banned from Twitter in 2018 after posting harassing messages, a month after other tech companies such as Facebook and YouTube also suspended his accounts.
Mr. Jones, who last year was ordered to pay $1 billion to the families of the eight victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting after spending years promoting claims that the massacre was a hoax, he said he hopes Mr. Musk will be reinstated. his account. In an interview with Tucker Carlson that aired on X on Thursday, Mr. Jones said users regularly called Mr. Musk to bring him back to the platform.
“My tendency is continually, ‘Hey, if you’re such an absolutist about free speech, bring Alex Jones back,’” Mr. Jones said. “I understand you need to go through a process before you do that.”
On Saturday, Musk responded to a user on X who said it was time to bring Jones back to the platform. “Okay,” Mr. Musk he wrote.
Mr Musk then started a poll, asking his 165 million followers whether he should reinstate Mr Jones’ account. On Saturday night, with votes still coming in, the overwhelming majority said Mr. Jones should be reinstated.
While Musk has yet to actually reactivate Jones’ account, the move could further alienate advertisers, who have abandoned the platform in droves over concerns that Musk’s lack of content moderation was allowing their brands to appear alongside offensive content. At the New York Times DealBook Summit in November, Musk insulted advertisers using an expletive and told them not to spend on his platform.
Since then, X has gone after small businesses and sought their advertising dollars to replace the revenue it once relied on from big brands. “If you are a small business and have an idea for a product or a new way we can help you more, share it,” said X CEO Linda Yaccarino. published on Fridays.