Twitter has permanently banned right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his Infowars show from its platform.
The social media site said Jones posted tweets and videos on Wednesday that violated its policies on abusive behavior.
As part of the ban, Jones will not be able to create new accounts on Twitter or take over any existing ones.
Twitter is the last of the Silicon Valley giants to take action against Jones, after his and Infowars’ accounts were removed from a litany of platforms in the past month, including Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, LinkedIn and others.
Twitter said Jones posted a video on Wednesday in violation of the company´s policy against `abusive behaviour´ (Jose Luis Magana/AP)
‘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 firm explained in a tweet.
‘We wanted to be open about this action given the broad interest in this case.’
The video in question shows Jones shouting at and berating CNN journalist Oliver Darcy for some 10 minutes during congressional hearings about social media.
In the video, Jones confronts Darcy by calling him ‘the equivalent of like the Hitler Youth.’
He continues by saying Darcy ‘smiles like a possum that crawled out of the rear end of a dead cow.’
Jones had about 900,000 followers on Twitter and Infowars had about 430,000.
Infowars and Jones’ accounts were also banned from Periscope, which is owned by Twitter.
Jones had traveled to Washington, DC on Wednesday to attend congressional hearings in which Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg were scheduled to testify about fake accounts and perceived bias on their platforms.
Before confronting CNN’s Darcy, Jones was involved in a heated exchange with Republican Senator Marco Rubio outside of the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.
He interrupted an interview Rubio was giving to CNBC and began heckling the Republican senator from Florida.
The exchange became heated once Jones touched Rubio’s shoulder, which prompted Rubio to say, ‘Hey, don’t touch me again, man.’
Jones continued to repeatedly interrupt Rubio, calling him a ‘frat boy’ and a ‘snake.’
The Infowars host had originally approached Rubio to ask about social media companies and Jones’ belief that they hold bias toward conservative users.
Twitter initially took a more tepid stance on taking action against Jones, resisting muzzling Jones further after it said the accounts had not violated its community guidelines.
The firm later moved to suspend Jones for a week.
Other tech companies have limited Jones by suspending him for longer periods, as Facebook did, and by taking down his pages and radio stations.
Last month, Spotify led the charge by removing every episode of the Alex Jones Show from the streaming site. Prior to this, Spotify had only gotten rid of specific episodes of the show, leaving most of the library up on its platform.
Apple later announced it had removed the entire iTunes library for five of Jones’s six Infowars podcasts, including the shows ‘War Room’ and the daily ‘The Alex Jones Show.’
Not long after, Facebook said it would remove four pages belonging to Jones for posting content that violated its policies around hate speech and violence.
YouTube also removed The Alex Jones Channel, which counts close to 2.5 million subscribers, from its platform.
Jones says his shows, which are broadcast on radio, YouTube and other platforms, reach at least 70 million people a week.
The theories he has promoted include that the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington were staged by the US government.
He has also promoted the idea that the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre was a hoax and that the victims of it were child actors.
The shooting left 26 children and adults dead at a Connecticut elementary school.
Jones is currently being sued in Texas by two Sandy Hook parents, seeking at least $1 million (£0.77 million), claiming that they have been the subject of harassment driven by his programs.
WHO IS ALEX JONES?
Alex Jones is a controversial radio and podcast host based in Austin, Texas.
Jones says his ‘InfoWars’ shows, which are broadcast on radio, YouTube and other platforms, reach at least 70 million people a week.
Among other claims, he has called the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting a hoax.
He was sued for defamation by families of some of the children killed in that attack, which left 20 children and six adults dead.
Among other claims, Alex Jones (file photo) has called the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting a hoax. He was sued for defamation by families of some of the children killed in that attack, which left 20 children and six adults dead
He now admits the shooting occurred but says his claims were free speech. He has sought to have the lawsuit dismissed.
Jones has also claimed that the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington were staged by the US government.
While he began broadcasting his shows in 1999, Jones’ profile has spread from the far-right fringe in recent years.
While running for president in 2015, Donald Trump told Jones his reputation was ‘amazing.’