This is an excerpt from the New York Post.
Elon Musk has restored the X account of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, pointing to a poll on the social media platform formerly known as Twitter that came out in favor of the Infowars host who repeatedly called the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting a hoax.
It poses new uncertainty for advertisers, who have fled X over concerns about hate speech appearing alongside their ads, and is the latest divisive public personality to get back their banned account.
Musk posted a poll on Saturday asking if Jones should be reinstated, with the results showing 70% of those who responded in favor. Early Sunday, Musk tweeted, “The people have spoken and so it shall be.”
The people have spoken and so it shall be— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 10, 2023
A few hours later, Jones’ posts were visible again and he retweeted a post about his video game. He and his Infowars show had been permanently banned in 2018 for abusive behavior.
Musk, who has described himself as a free speech absolutist, said the move was about protecting those rights. In response to a user who posted that “permanent account bans are antithetical to free speech,” Musk wrote, “I find it hard to disagree with this point.”
The billionaire Tesla CEO also tweeted it’s likely that Community Notes — X’s crowd-sourced fact-checking service — “will respond rapidly to any AJ post that needs correction.”
It is a safe bet that Community Notes will respond rapidly to any AJ post that needs correction— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 10, 2023
It is a major turnaround for Musk, who previously said he wouldn’t let Jones back on the platform despite repeated calls to do so. Last year, Musk pointed to the death of his first-born child and tweeted, “I have no mercy for anyone who would use the deaths of children for gain, politics or fame.”
Jones repeatedly has said on his show that the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, that killed 20 children and six educators never happened and was staged in an effort to tighten gun laws.
Relatives of many of the victims sued Jones in Connecticut and Texas, winning nearly $1.5 billion in judgments against him. In October, a judge ruled that Jones could not use bankruptcy protection to avoid paying more than $1.1 billon of that debt.
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