3 reasons why Elon Musk reinstated conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' account | World News - Hindustan Times
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3 reasons why Elon Musk reinstated conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' account

Dec 11, 2023 11:08 PM IST

Why has Elon Musk unbanned Alex Jones? Many claim it's to favour free speech on the platform whereas some feel it can be due to shrinking revenues

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is back on X (formerly named Twitter). Elon Musk ended his 5 year exile from the platform over his repeated violations of its rules about facts.

Elon Musk has ended conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' ban on X after 5 years
Elon Musk has ended conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' ban on X after 5 years

Musk welcomed the controversial figure to the platform with a grand welcome party. He and Alex Jones were joined by big controversial names - Pizzagate conspiracist Jack Posobiec, anti-Muslim activist Laura Loomer, Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Mike Flynn, Andrew Tate and republican candidate, Vivek Ramaswamy.

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The move to restore Jones' account marks a remarkable reversal for Musk. Only last year, he had expressed strong reservations about lifting the ban on the now-bankrupt instigator, particularly due to the falsehoods he spread regarding the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school tragedy.

Jones calls himself a victim of a politically motivated judge

Jones used the opportunity to claim he was simply asking questions and providing commentary about the shooting—and that he, just like Donald Trump, was the victim of a politically motivated judge.

“I had a very small operation and did not even understand how powerful I was,” he said. “And so when that event, the school shooting, which I do believe happened 11 years ago, the Internet exploded and it was the top story off and on for years. All these professors and former school safety people, all of them said they believed it was a drill and I simply covered them covering that.”

“I’ll say it again, I apologize that I just gave my commentary because I’m really just a guy, a talk radio host. I do that on the Internet. I just take calls and interview guests and I play devil’s advocate. And if that hurt people’s feelings, I apologize. But I did not send people to your houses. I did not pee on graves. I don’t know any of the stuff that went on.”

Alex Jones has now confirmed to Elon Musk that he'd like to use X to raise millions of dollars for gun safety awareness for Sandy Hook families.

Also Read: Elon Musk restores Alex Jones X account: Check his top conspiracy theories

X Users voted in favour of Alex Jones' return

Before unbanning Alex Jones' account Musk had asked the X users on December 9, whether he should bring him back. 7.9 million responded and out of which 70.1% pushed a yes button in agreement. Despite disagreeing with Alex's comments on Sandy Hook's family Musk has now given him a platform with a disclaimer - he won't be allowed to write on Sandy Hook.

Reinstatement for free speech?

It's not just Alex Jones many of his supporters are calling it a victory for free speech. “70% voted to reinstate Alex Jones, Twitter account on Elon Musk’s POLL. Even though I disagree with many things about Alex Jones, I’ve been on the show many times, and think we ought to respect free speech no matter what.” claimed Erin Elizabeth.

Jones 'begged Musk to reinstate his account

In a recent interview with Tucker Carlson, Jones had pleaded with Musk for his account to be unbanned.“I trend all the time, ‘Hey, if you’re such an absolutist on free speech, bring back Alex Jones,’” Jones said. “I understand that he needs to go through a process before he does that.”

Was it a response to advertisers who pulled off?

Even as the controversial figures on X call it an act for free speech some feel the reason could be revenue.

One of the X users, Collin Rugg -Co-Owner of Trending Politics, feels it is a response to advertisers pulling out of the platform and this is Musk's answer to them, "Nov 20, 2022: Elon Musk says Alex Jones will remain banned for his Sandy Hook comments.

Nov 29, 2023: Elon Musk tells advertisers to "go f**k yourself."

Dec 10, 2023: Elon Musk restores Alex Jones' account.

If Elon wasn't clear on Nov 29, it's extremely clear now: Advertisers won't be allowed to control the narrative on X and if they aren’t okay with that, they can "go f**k” themselves.

Free speech wins."

X is bleeding, he Musk looking at Alex to save it?

After Musk's takeover X has been constantly losing both users and advertisers. According to reports the platform has lost 60% in revenues in the last one year. A New York Times report claims the losses will only worsen further - X could lose as much as $75 million in advertising revenue by the end of the year as dozens.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Vertika Kanaujia is Editor Audience Growth at Hindustan Times and oversees the website’s coverage of business news, health, technology and internet culture. She is a Chevening Scholar and a Columbia Journalism University Fellow. Vertika has been a journalist for more than 18 years. After starting her career as a business journalist in TV she has worked with various leading news channels. You can email her at vertika.kanaujia@htdigital.in.

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