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Elon Musk reinstates the account of Alex Jones, a conspiracy theorist.

Elon Musk reinstates the account of Alex Jones, a conspiracy theorist.

Elon Musk has restored the X account of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, pointing to a poll on the social media platform formerly known as Twitter that came out in favor of the Infowars host who repeatedly called the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting a hoax.

This presents a new challenge for advertisers, as they have avoided X due to worries about their ads being displayed alongside hateful content. It is also the most recent controversial public figure to have their suspended account reinstated.

On Saturday, Musk shared a survey inquiring about Jones’ potential reinstatement. The outcome revealed that 70% of respondents were in support. On Sunday morning, Musk tweeted, “The people have made their voices heard and their decision will be honored.”

After a couple of hours, Jones’ posts resurfaced and he shared a tweet regarding his video game. His Infowars show had previously received a permanent ban in 2018 due to his aggressive conduct.

Musk, who identifies as a proponent of free speech, stated that the decision was made to safeguard those freedoms. When a user commented that “banning accounts permanently goes against free speech,” Musk expressed agreement, saying, “I find it difficult to argue with this perspective.”

The wealthy CEO of Tesla also shared on Twitter that it is probable that Community Notes, the crowd-sourced fact-checking service by X, will promptly address any AJ posts that require correction.

Musk has had a significant change of heart, as he had previously stated that he would not allow Jones to return to the platform despite numerous requests. In the past, Musk cited the loss of his own child as a reason for his stance and tweeted, “I have no compassion for those who exploit the deaths of children for personal gain, political motives, or fame.”

Jones has consistently asserted on his program that the tragic 2012 incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, which claimed the lives of 20 children and six educators, was fabricated as a means to enforce stricter gun control measures.

Families of numerous individuals affected by the tragedy took legal action against Jones in Connecticut and Texas, resulting in verdicts totaling nearly $1.5 billion in his favor. In October, a court decision declared that Jones could not utilize bankruptcy as a means of evading payment of over $1.1 billion of the owed amount.

During the trials, family members of the victims of the school shooting spoke about experiencing harassment and threats from followers of Jones. These individuals not only sent threats but also confronted the mourning families in person, falsely accusing them of being “crisis actors” and claiming that their children were never real.

Jones is challenging the verdicts, arguing that he did not receive fair hearings and that his speech was safeguarded by the First Amendment.

Jones’ account has been reinstated while Musk has faced multiple major companies, such as Disney and IBM, pulling their advertisements from X. This action was prompted by a report from the liberal advocacy group Media Matters which revealed that ads were being displayed alongside content promoting Nazi ideology and white supremacy.

Musk’s endorsement of an antisemitic conspiracy theory on X caused concern and resulted in him being deterred. He later apologized and made a trip to Israel, where he visited a kibbutz that had been attacked by Hamas and engaged in discussions with prominent Israeli officials.

However, he has also accused advertisers of resorting to “blackmail” and, using profanity, effectively told them to leave.

During a recent on-stage interview at The New York Times DealBook Summit, Musk advised against advertising.

Following his acquisition of Twitter in the previous year, Musk announced that he would be offering “amnesty” to suspended accounts. He has since restored the accounts of former President Donald Trump, Ye (formerly known as Kanye West), who had been suspended twice for posting antisemitic content last year, and far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. Greene had been banned from the platform for spreading misinformation about COVID-19.

Trump, who was prohibited for inciting the Capitol insurrection on January 6, 2021, now has his own social media platform called Truth Social. He has only posted one tweet since regaining access to X.