Twitter's CEO explained why he hasn't banished Alex Jones and, in doing so, took a not-so-subtle swipe at Facebook
- Jack Dorsey defended Twitter's decision to allow Alex Jones to keep tweeting after Apple, Facebook, and YouTube all banned the Infowars presenter.
- Dorsey took a thinly veiled swipe at Facebook and YouTube, which only acted after Apple removed Jones, by saying that Twitter does not "simply react to outside pressure."
- Dorsey's decision has not gone down well with some, however, with Reddit's former CEO suggesting it could lead to Twitter's demise.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has tweet-stormed his reasons for not banishing renowned conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and in doing so, took a not-so-subtle swipe at Facebook and YouTube.
In a thread of five tweets, Dorsey said Jones did not break Twitter rules and so the company decided against blocking him after Apple, Facebook, and YouTube all shut down the Infowars presenter on Monday.
In a tick-tock on the events of Monday, CNN's Dylan Byers revealed that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally stepped in to remove four of Jones' pages. He did this only after learning of Apple's decision, Byers said, which is why Facebook announced its decision at 3 a.m. Pacific Time. YouTube and Spotify reacted similarly.
"If we succumb and simply react to outside pressure, rather than straightforward principles we enforce (and evolve) impartially regardless of political viewpoints, we become a service that's constructed by our personal views that can swing in any direction," Dorsey tweeted. "That's not us."
Dorsey then went on to say that it is the job of reporters to shoot down the false assertions made by Jones. He explained: "Accounts like Jones' can often sensationalize issues and spread unsubstantiated rumors, so it's critical journalists document, validate, and refute such information directly so people can form their own opinions."
As BuzzFeed's Charlie Warzel points out, Jones does use Twitter differently to other social media sites, choosing to be less inflammatory. "He's much more careful with what he posts," Warzel said. But this hasn't shielded Twitter from criticism following its decision to allow Jones a platform.
A notable detractor is former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao, who suggested it could lead to Twitter's demise. In a tweet directed at Dorsey, she said: "Your platform does not operate in a vacuum. We tried treating @reddit as a silo, and it was a huge mistake. People got harassed cross-platform. Also if your site is the only one that allows this hate and harassment, it will get overrun and collapse."
"healthy" by what measure? Your platform does not operate in a vacuum. We tried treating @reddit as a silo, and it was a huge mistake. People got harassed cross-platform. Also if your site is the only one that allows this hate and harassment, it will get overrun and collapse- Ellen K. Pao (@ekp) August 8, 2018