This morning, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg faced questions from the Senate Intelligence Committee about how their companies handle myriad issues, including misinformation, content moderations, and foreign intrusion. And since it happened at a congressional hearing, it was open for anyone to attend.
So it shouldn’t have been entirely surprising that Infowars host Alex Jones decided to stop by. The well-known conspiracy theorist was recently banned on platforms including Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. Though he claims these banned only made his online presence stronger, data shows that Infowars’s audience is shrinking.
This is perhaps why Jones attended the hearing–to, once again, enter the spotlight. He didn’t just want to hear what the technology giants had to say, but also intended to make his presence known. And he made quite the statement to Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.
According to Daily Beast reporter Will Sommer, Jones found Rubio in the hallways giving an interview during a hearing recess. He began talking over Rubio, accusing the United States of censorship akin to China’s. Rubio first attempted to answer his questions, then tried to ignore Jones’s heckling, but the troll kept going.
“Is that a heckler or the press?” Rubio asked.
Realizing Rubio was no longer going to answer his questions, Jones started calling Rubio a snake while laughing like a disturbed schoolboy. The online broadcaster then went to touch the senator on the shoulder, and Rubio recoiled. “Don’t touch me again, man,” he said with a death stare.
Ultimately, Rubio left to go back to the hearing while reporters asked Jones some questions.
You can watch the entire back and forth here:
Here’s video of the Alex Jones – Rubio spat https://t.co/lGDaHAcZUc
— Will Sommer (@willsommer) September 5, 2018
Chatting with Marco Rubio, however, wasn’t enough for Jones. After the hearing reconvened, he reportedly went back in to watch the testimonies. New York Times reporter Sheera Frenkel noticed Jones sitting behind her, talking into his camera.
Alex Jones had come back into the Senate Intel committee after confronting Rubio in the hallway. Can hear him speaking into his camera as he films behind me. pic.twitter.com/xWJdWsIDeM
— Sheera Frenkel (@sheeraf) September 5, 2018
And Alex Jones wasn’t the only notorious troll showing up at Capitol Hill to watch this hearing. Chuck Johnson, who was also banned from Twitter three years ago, reportedly made an appearance.
The intellectual dark web will surely be aflame with content this evening.