Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey defends failure to ban Alex Jones

Clay Curtis
August 8, 2018

"We're going to hold Jones to the same standard we hold to every account, not taking one-off actions to make us feel good in the short term, and adding fuel to new conspiracy theories", he said.

Jack Dorsey on Tuesday defended Twitter's decision to allow Alex Jones to keep tweeting after Apple, Facebook, and YouTube all barred the Infowars presenter. Jack Dorsey explained on Tuesday why both remain on the platform.

In this file photo, Alex Jones from Infowars.com speaks during a rally in support of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump near the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, July 18, 2016.

The companies that punished Jones said they did so because he violated their policies on hate speech. "Apple does not tolerate hate speech, and we have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users", Apple said in a statement to BuzzFeed. Dorsey said in his posts that "we've been awful at explaining our decisions in the past". The conspiracy theorist faces several defamation lawsuits arising from his claim that the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a hoax. But for now, the push against him may have gotten more people interested in hearing what he has to say. "Moving forward, we all need more clarity on what their rules are and how they intend to enforce them".

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"We've been banned completely on Facebook, Apple and Spotify", Jones tweeted on Monday.

Dorsey also appeared to reference the decisions by other big tech firms in recent days to shut down Jones and Infowars. "This is what serves the public conversation best", Dorsey said.

The backlash seems to have a partisan tint, coming amid speculation that Silicon Valley's transparent user policies are being applied in a way that is biased against conservative voices on their platforms.

Horne, who now works for the Brookings Institution, said the company's error lay in attempting to separate online behavior from offline activity, arguing that Jones's digital communications "encourage followers to harass/harm people offline".

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