Newly minted Twitter CEO Elon Musk says he won’t reinstate the account of conspiracy theorist and the InfoWars commentator Alex Jones.
Musk says that Jones’s account, which has been offline since the social media giant banned it in 2018 over “abusive behavior” violations, won’t be allowed back despite a recent string of previously banned accounts rejoining Twitter under Musk’s leadership.
Notable accounts that have been unbanned on Twitter under Musk are Kanye West, Andrew Tate, Jordan Peterson and former President Donald Trump.
Musk quoted bible scripture in his reason for not letting Jones back on, and also said he had little sympathy for Jones’s position.
“My firstborn child died in my arms. I felt his last heartbeat,” Musk tweeted. “I have no mercy for anyone who would use the deaths of children for gain, politics or fame.”
See also: Tweets with racial slurs have soared since Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover, report finds
Jones had claimed the the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was “staged” by the U.S. government and the grieving parents of the deceased children were paid actors — the school shooting led to the deaths of 20 first graders and six educators. Jones has since acknowledged the massacre and refuted some of his false claims about the event.
Jones and InfoWars were ordered by a judge in November to pay an extra $473 million for promoting false conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook massacre, bringing the total judgment against him in a lawsuit filed by the victims’ families to $1.44 billion.
On many occasions, Musk has characterized himself as a “free speech-absolutist” and is widely expected to continue to revamp Twitter’s content moderation policies in the future. But as many people on Twitter are pointing out, not letting Alex Jones back onto Twitter shows that Musk isn’t prioritizing what he calls free speech, but rather he seems to be deciding which controversial accounts can be reactivated based on his personal thoughts and experiences.
Read more: What does ‘free speech’ actually mean? Twitter was never censoring speech, despite what Elon Musk and some users have said
Indeed, Musk recently said that no major decisions on account reinstatement would occur prior to the meeting of a newly created content moderation council, but there’s no evidence that such a council has been formed. And Musk said he based his decision to let the former President Trump back onto Twitter based on a poll that Musk conducted on Twitter.
See also: ‘I just killed it’: Musk scraps Twitter’s gray ‘official’ label just hours after its launch
and SpaceX CEO formally took over Twitter on Oct. 28 at the agreed-upon $54.20-a-share price totaling $44 billion.