[Ed. – This site holds no brief for Alex Jones or his ilk. His website Infowars, which trades on conspiracy theories, is one of several that our reporters are cautioned against citing as a source. Joe Newby’s article focuses on an ostensible conspiracy among the mainstream media and social media platform Twitter. It should in no way be construed as an endorsement of Jones or his blog.]
On Thursday, news broke that right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was permanently banned from Twitter after a confrontation he had with CNN reporter Oliver Darcy. What made this incident strange is that some media outlets actually reported on the ban before Twitter announced it. In other words, they knew about Jones’s ban before he himself did.
The Gateway Pundit’s Cassandra Fairbanks laid out the basic timeline: “Twitter announced the ban at 4:47 pm EST and CNN published an article about it simultaneously, tweeting it at exactly 4:47 as well.”
Additionally, she noted that “Buzzfeed and Daily Beast tweeted their reports two minutes prior to the announcement at 4:45, AP tweeted it at 4:46, and the New York Times had a full article published by 4:58.”
And, she added, Fox News received no advance press release and did not publish their story until an hour after the announcement.
Others also noted the interesting timeline:
WAIT… Somebody pointed this out to me just now: reporters were briefed by Twitter about this beforehand. Buzzfeed tweeted about it at 4:45, AP at 4:46, then NYT, followed by WaPo and Politico. I didn't even think to check the other media accounts. pic.twitter.com/7DqIaEYjrf
— Pardes Seleh (@PardesSeleh) September 6, 2018
Paul Joseph Watson, a contributor at Jones’s site Infowars, issued a statement, reading:
Since February this year, CNN’s Oliver Darcy, BuzzFeed and others have lobbied Big Tech to shut down Infowars on every platform. They complied. The fact that corporate media were all tipped off in advance that their competition was about to be shut down once again proves collusion and illustrates how this is all being coordinated and isn’t merely just enforcement of ‘terms of service.’
Silicon Valley and the mainstream media are working hand in hand to silence competing voices. This is clearly harmful to the very spirit of the First Amendment and must be stopped now. Social media is the public square. It’s time it was legally treated that way.
Incidents like this are the reason activist Chris Sevier drafted a measure he calls the “Stop Social Media Censorship Act,” a measure that is set to be introduced by lawmakers in eight states. That proposal, if passed into law, would give users like Jones a private right to sue big social media companies like Twitter and Facebook.
Was there collusion between liberal media outlets and Twitter? It’s not entirely certain if that’s the case, but the timing is certainly causing a lot of speculation.