Twitter has suspended the personal accounts of Infowars reporter Owen Shroyer and news director Rob Dew, as well as the outlet’s account for its streaming platform, @banneddotvideo.
It is unclear why Twitter took down the accounts. Lawyer Robert Barnes, who has represented Infowars founder Alex Jones said the platform didn’t provide a reason for Shroyer’s suspension. But before Twitter took action, a report on MediaMatters accused the platform of “facilitating” Shroyer’s promotion of a rally that would violate Texas’ social distancing measures and stay-at-home orders.
According to that report, Shroyer organized a rally, scheduled to take place on April 18, to protest the social distancing measures in place, and @banneddotvideo retweeted one of his posts about the demonstration. This, the report says, is in violation of Twitter’s rules that probits posts that “could place people at a higher risk of transmitting COVID-19.”
Under Twitter’s rules, users will be asked to delete tweets that could contribute to the spread of the virus, including jokes, denial of “expert guidance” and “established scientific facts about transmission,” unproven cures for the infection, “impersonating a government or health official or organization,” and causing panic with unverified claims.
Twitter permanently banned Infowars and Jones in 2018 for violating its “abusive behavior policy” and later other accounts affiliated with them. YouTube, Apple, Facebook, and Spotify have also banned Jones’ main platforms.
“I was taken down, not because we lied but because we tell the truth and because we were popular. And because we dared go to that committee hearing and stand up to Rubio and stand up to the lies of mainstream media and speak the truth …This is the deep state striking back and really pressuring these tech firms to censor,” Jones said at the time.
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