Elon Musk brings controversial character back on X, ignites the internet

Written by Jeppe W

Dec.11 - 2023 8:10 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com

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The reinstatement of Alex Jones on X, formerly known as Twitter, has triggered a wave of reactions ranging from outrage to support.

Elon Musk, the new owner of the social media platform, facilitated Jones' return through a public poll, where over 70% of nearly 2 million voters supported Jones' reinstatement.

Jones, notorious for his conspiracy theories and misinformation campaigns, particularly around the 9/11 attacks and the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting, had been banned in September 2018 for violating the platform's abusive behavior policy.

Musk, who had acquired X for $44 billion in October 2022, had previously stated he would not allow Jones back on the platform.

Musk cited the Sandy Hook conspiracy theories and the personal impact of the death of his first-born child as reasons. However, the recent poll and Jones’ interview with Tucker Carlson on X have led to a change in stance.

Jones' return has been met with strong reactions from various public figures. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene and conservative political consultant Roger Stone welcomed him back.

In contrast, Shannon Watts of Moms Demand Action and former Representative Alex Kinzinger criticized the move, highlighting the defamation issues and the impact on Sandy Hook families.

The families of Sandy Hook victims have won nearly $1.5 billion in judgments against Jones, who is appealing these judgments. Jones' claims led to harassment and threats against these families, who were accused of being "crisis actors."

Musk’s decision to bring Jones back on X reflects the complexities and controversies surrounding free speech and misinformation on social media platforms.

As X navigates these issues under Musk's leadership, the balance between freedom of expression and the responsibility to prevent harmful misinformation continues to be a contentious topic.