Published1 day ago
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has returned to X – formerly Twitter – by reposting a message by controversial influencer Andrew Tate.
Tate’s message praised both Jones and X owner Elon Musk, claiming: “We’re back”
His account was reinstated after a poll by Musk, with 70% of roughly two million respondents voting to lift the ban.
Jones is most notorious for falsely claiming the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting was staged.
He was ordered to pay $1.5bn (£1.32bn) in damages to family members of the victims, after courts found he had caused them to be subjected to harassment and death threats with his false claims.
Jones, who founded the conspiracy theory website Infowars, was removed from other major platforms, including YouTube and Facebook.
He was banned from Twitter in 2018 for breaching the site’s rules on abusive behaviour.
Andrew Tate, who was also previously banned from the site before having his account reinstated last year, is a self-proclaimed misogynist influencer who is facing trial in Romania charged with rape, human trafficking and forming an organised crime group to sexually exploit women – which he denies
He also defended Jones in a social media post on Saturday, calling him a “hero”.
Elon Musk bought X in October 2022 and initially rejected calls from some of Jones’s supporters to reinstate his account.
In one post, he cited the death of his 10-week old baby in 2002 as motivation for not reversing the ban, writing: “I have no mercy for anyone who would use the death of children for gain, politics or fame.”
But on Saturday Musk asked users to vote on whether or not Jones should be allowed to return – a repeat of the move which saw former US President Donald Trump’s account reinstated a month after Musk took over the firm. Mr Trump has only posted once since his ban was lifted.
After Musk posted the poll, Jones shared a video online in which he called on his supporters to vote in favour of his ban being overturned.
Jones’s old account was reinstated hours after the poll ended.
Responding to one user on Saturday, Musk said he “vehemently” disagreed with Jones’s statements about Sandy Hook, adding: “but are we a platform that believes in freedom of speech or are we not?”
He said the move would be “bad for X financially” but “principles matter more than money”.
Musk has taken an increasingly bullish line on free speech online during his time at the top of X.
Last month he accused major advertisers of trying to “blackmail” him when they boycotted X over concerns about antisemitic content shared on the site – including a post by Musk himself, which he later apologised for.