Mashable:

Is Alex Jones headed back to Elon Musk’s X?

According to Musk, he’s considering unsuspending Jones, who was first banned from the platform in 2018, when it was still known as Twitter. 

Musk will “hear” Jones out

On Thursday, former Fox News host Tucker Carlson released a brand new episode of his online “Tucker on X” program, which he uploads exclusively to Musk’s platform. His guest for this edition? Alex Jones, the notorious right wing conspiracy theorist who most recently lost a series of lawsuits filed by the Sandy Hook parents who were harassed after Jones claimed the school shooting that took the lives of their children was fake.

Carlson’s upload made Jones a topic of conversation on X among right-wing figures with some questioning why he was still banned from the platform after Musk’s takeover. Musk offered a response to one such user who asked Musk to allow Jones back on X.

“Will consider,” Musk posted. “In general, since this platform aspires to be the global town square, permanent bans should be extremely rare. Also, if he does say something false on this platform, then @CommunityNotes will correct him, whereas that would not be the case elsewhere. Let’s hold a poll:”

Musk did not follow up with a poll of his own, a tactic he would commonly utilize in early months after his acquisition of the company but seemingly stopped after losing a poll asking the user base if he should step down as CEO of Twitter.

However, Musk did respond to a right-wing X user who offered up a poll of their own, which showed their followers overwhelmingly supported Jones’ return to the platform.

“I guess a lot of people want him unbanned,” Musk replied.

Musk replied to yet another right-wing X user who shared a video of Alex Jones, posted by Jones’ wife, where the conspiracy theorist requests that Musk watch his Carlson interview where he makes his case regarding being unsuspended on the platform.

“I will hear him out,” Musk replied in response.

Musk’s reversal 

A potential Alex Jones return to X would be quite a change of course from Musk. Shortly after acquiring then-Twitter last year, Musk brought back numerous banned and permanently suspended users, such as former president Donald Trump. Jones was one of the few who was not allowed to return.

But, even by voicing a potential for Jones’ return, Musk has already made a reversal. Jones’ continued suspension wasn’t an oversight. In fact, Musk strongly voiced his opposition to allowing Jones back on the social media platform.

When one user asked Musk last November if Jones would be allowed back on as others were being reinstated, Musk replied with a biblical quote.

“Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven,” Musk said.

Musk then replied with a more specific response to Jones’ continued suspension.

“My firstborn child died in my arms,” Musk continued. “I felt his last heartbeat. I have no mercy for anyone who would use the deaths of children for gain, politics or fame.”

Musk was obviously referring to Jones’ denial of the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting, which resulted in the death of 20 children.

So, what changed for Musk? It’s unclear. Musk appears to be a big fan of Tucker Carlon, having personally shared most of Carlon’s video uploads to his more than 165 million followers on X. However, Musk has not yet shared the Alex Jones interview. 

Perhaps, Musk’s original decision last year was guided more so by fears that advertisers would flee. That has now happened regardless, due to other decisions by Musk, so maybe those concerns no longer factor into the decision.

With Musk considering Jones’ return, though, maybe we’ll find out for sure soon enough.


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MuskWire TLDR:

Elon Musk is reportedly considering allowing Alex Jones, the notorious right-wing conspiracy theorist, to return to his online platform known as “X.” Jones was originally banned from the platform in 2018 when it was still called Twitter. The discussion about Jones’ potential return was sparked after former Fox News host Tucker Carlson released a new episode of his online program exclusively on Musk’s platform, featuring Jones as a guest. Some right-wing figures on X questioned why Jones was still banned after Musk took over the platform. Musk responded to a user’s request to allow Jones back on X, stating that he would “consider” it. He also mentioned that permanent bans should be rare and that if Jones said something false on the platform, there would be a mechanism to correct him. Musk’s potential reversal on Jones’ suspension is notable because he had previously strongly opposed allowing Jones back on the platform, citing his denial of the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting. It is unclear what prompted Musk’s change of heart, but he has shown support for Tucker Carlson on the platform. Despite considering Jones’ return, Musk has not yet shared the Alex Jones interview on his platform.