After first defending his decision not to remove Infowars conspiracy monger Alex Jones from Twitter during a radio interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity last week, CEO Jack Dorsey has now sat down with NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt to explain why he eventually decided to give Jones a “time out.”
Holt confronted Dorsey with details of a recent video Jones posted on Twitter that called for people to get their “battle rifles and everything ready at their bedsides” for potential war against the media. “It sent a chill up my spine, how about yours?” the anchor asked.
“It did,” Dorsey replied, saying that a “call to incitement to violence” is not acceptable on his platform and requires “action.” And yet instead of permanently deleting Jones’ account—as every other major social media company has done in recent weeks—Dorsey described the action Twitter has taken against Jones as a “time out.”
Logistically, it took the form of a seven-day suspension for Jones’ personal account even as the main Infowars handle has remained in operation. The most recent tweet from Jones (“Breaking! Audio Proof Trump Did Not Say The ‘N-word’”) was posted late afternoon on Tuesday of this week.
“A ‘time out’ seems minor compared to the implications of someone suggesting a call to arms against a particular group, in this case the media,” Holt pushed back.
“Well, I feel, you know, any suspension, whether it be a permanent one or a temporary one, makes someone think about their actions and their behaviors,” Dorsey replied. Asked if he really believe Jones will alter his behavior based on a one-week suspension, Dorsey admitted, “I don’t know.” But that is the company’s policy, and he’s sticking to it.
Meanwhile, as of Wednesday morning, Jones was still using the official Infowars Twitter account to post videos in which he calls the entire justification for his suspension a “hoax.”