A year after promising not to allow the far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones back on the social media site, Elon Musk, the billionaire owner of X, allowed him back on Sunday.
In 2018, Jones—who had maintained that the Newtown, Connecticut school massacre in December 2012, which claimed the lives of 20 children and six instructors, was a hoax—was banned from the site, which was still known as Twitter, for breaking its “abusive behavior policy.”
The relatives of the Sandy Hook school shooting victims also filed a lawsuit against him, and a judge in that case last year ordered him to pay more than $1 billion in damages.
Musk has previously pledged not to allow the Infowars presenter to return to the social media site he purchased last year.
However, Musk reversed that choice after an X poll asking two million users whether Jones should be allowed back was answered.
“I vehemently disagree with what he said about Sandy Hook, but are we a platform that believes in freedom of speech or are we not?” said the founder of SpaceX on X.
However, Shannon Watts, the creator of the Moms Demand Action organization, which advocates for stricter gun control legislation, asserted that “defamation is not free speech.”
Musk’s choice is made the same week that the families of Sandy Hook celebrate the shooting’s 11th anniversary on December 14, which Jones claimed was staged so the government could repress gun rights.
For years, Jones’ supporters plagued the grieving families, calling the parents of the dead “crisis actors” whose children never existed.
Additionally, it happened one week after Musk addressed advertisers who had left X due to far-right posts and hate speech, including what appeared to be Musk’s own support of a racist tweet.
In an interview with journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin, Musk responded to the question of whether he would address the advertisers’ departure by telling them to “go f*** yourself.”
Upon his return to X, Jones, who boasts a million followers, praised his “triumphant return” and retweeted Andrew Tate, the controversial former kickboxer who is being accused of rape and human trafficking in Romania.