‘My firstborn child died in my arms’: Elon Musk reveals why Twitter won’t lift Alex Jones ban

Elon Musk took over Twitter in a $44 billion deal in October 2022 (Getty Images)
Elon Musk took over Twitter in a $44 billion deal in October 2022 (Getty Images)

Elon Musk has revealed a caveat to his “free speech absolutist” approach to governing Twitter after allowing Donald Trump to return but refusing to reinstate conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

The Twitter account of former US president Trump reappeared over the weekend, nearly two years after he was banned in the wake of the 6 January attack on the United States Capitol.

In response to a question from author Sam Harris on whether he would also lift the ban for Mr Jones, the tech billionaire said that the right-wing radio host’s pushing of the Sandy Hook conspiracy theory meant that the ban would remain in place.

“My firstborn child died in my arms,” Mr Musk wrote on Twitter.

“I felt his last heartbeat. I have no mercy for anyone who would use the deaths of children for gain, politics or fame.”

Mr Musk rarely speaks about the death of his first child, who died of sudden infant death syndrome at the age of 10 weeks in 2002.

Mr Jones gained notoriety after claiming that family members of children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting were “crisis actors” hired in a ploy to enact greater gun control in the US.

The Infowars host and his company has been ordered to pay $1.44 billion in damages to the families for promoting the false conspirary theory, following lawsuits in Texas and Connecticut.

Mr Jones was also permanently banned from several major tech platforms, including Facebook and YouTube, as a result of violating their terms of service.

Twitter said in 2018 that the ban was a result of Mr Jones breaching the company’s abusive beganiour policy.

Mr Musk has previously referred to himself as a “free speech absolutist” and promised to overhaul Twitter’s content moderation policies after taking over the social media giant last month in a deal worth $44 billion.

The reinstatement of Mr Trump does not appear to conform to any specific new rules, and also does not align with the reason given for not allowing Mr Jones back on the platform, as the former president has also consistently used Twitter to promote conspiracy theories.

Most notably, Mr Trump pushed a widely discredited theory of mass voting fraud during the 2020 US presidential elections, which indirectly led to the storming of the Capitol in January 2021.