Twitter's moderation policies are in place to protect the integrity of US elections, Jack Dorsey says

Twitter's moderation policies are in place to protect the integrity of US elections, Jack Dorsey says
PRAKASH SINGH/AFP via Getty Images
  • Jack Dorsey told lawmakers during Senate hearing Wednesday that Twitter's "moderation policies are to protect the conversations and the integrity of the conversations around the elections."
  • Dorsey denied multiple times during the hearing that Twitter has the power to influence elections.
  • Twitter's rules state that users cannot "use Twitter's services for the purpose of manipulating or interfering in elections or other civic processes."
  • Twitter has recently changed some features on the platform to limit the spread of misinformation, and has removed fake political accounts.

After Sen. Ron Johnson during a Senate hearing Wednesday took aim at "censorship" on Twitter, CEO Jack Dorsey quickly defended his company's policies around flagging or removing content.

"Our current moderation policies are to protect the conversations and the integrity of the conversations around the elections," Dorsey said.

Twitter's rules state that users cannot "use Twitter's services for the purpose of manipulating or interfering in elections or other civic processes." The company also bans users from sharing manipulated or synthetic media that "are likely to cause harm."
Advertisement
Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin, singled out Twitter's handling of a dubious New York Post story about Joe Biden's son, Hunter. The senator claimed that by preventing the article from being shared on Twitter the company was withholding important information from American voters.

The Post's story purported to show an email between Hunter and a Ukrainian official about meeting with his father when he was vice president. The story did not clearly indicate how it got the email nor verify its validity, so Twitter banned the post from its site.

Dorsey later apologized for how Twitter handled the story, saying he was "wrong" to ban the URL without providing users with context.
Advertisement

Dorsey denied several times during Wednesday's hearing that Twitter has the ability to influence US elections. But President Donald Trump had said in 2016 he believed Twitter "helped [him] win" races where Hillary Clinton outspent him. And the company discovered more than 50,000 accounts "originating in Russia" that played a role in spreading misinformation during the 2016 election.

Twitter has since changed some features on the platform, including some specifically to prevent the spread of political misinformation during the 2020 election cycle. The company now prompts users to post a comment on a tweet before retweeting it, and prevents tweets from people users don't follow to appear on their timelines. The platform recently removed 130 fake accounts based in Iran that attempted to "disrupt public conversation during the first 2020 US Presidential Debate," and removed fake accounts claiming to be Black Trump supporters after they generated more than 265,000 retweets.
Advertisement
{{}}