Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey says he stepped in to stop the social media giant he co-founded from banning far right wing conspiracy theorist and fake news promoter Alex Jones, according to a report in Monday’s Wall Street Journal. Twitter “disputes” the claim.
“Last month, after Twitter’s controversial decision to allow conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to remain on its platform, Mr. Dorsey told one person that he had overruled a decision by his staff to kick Mr. Jones off, according to a person familiar with the discussion,” The Journal reports. The paper also says Dorsey intervened to allow white supremacist Richard Spencer to be reinstated on Twitter.
In August, Twitter came under fire from its users and even from some employees for not joining many of the top social media platforms in banning Alex Jones.
Jones peddles fake news, and is behind the promotion of horrific and damaging stories, including his repeated claim that the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, in which 20 young children and six school officials were murdered, was a “false flag” operation – a hoax – and child actors were used.
So when Facebook, YouTube, iTunes, Spotify and others banned Jones, Twitter claimed he had not violated its terms of service, the “rules of the road” that outline acceptable behavior. Only after CNN highlighted several tweets that clearly violated Twitter’s TOS did the social media platform suspend Jones – and only for one week.
(Ironically, perhaps, Jones’ tweets, had he published them on his own sites, would have violated his own terms of service, theoretically forcing him to ban himself.)
“Any suggestion that Jack made or overruled any of these decisions is completely and totally false,” Twitter’s chief legal officer, Vijaya Gadde, said in a statement. “Our service can only operate fairly if it’s run through consistent application of our rules, rather than the personal views of any executive, including our CEO.”
Dorsey will testify on Capitol Hill Wednesday. Part of his time will be spent answering to Republicans who falsely are claiming social media companies are censoring conservatives. In reality, right wing voices, and publications including Fox News, are thriving on platforms like Facebook.
Some on Twitter, hearing the news that Dorsey allegedly said he stepped in to prevent the ban of Alex Jones, expressed outrage:
Being nice is not acceptable when your platform is weaponized by nation-states.
You can either be decisive and stand for your morals or get run-over trying to be the bastion of free-speech that doesn't exist. https://t.co/RXUQy3MvZp
— Brad Sams (@bdsams) September 3, 2018
‘An utter disgrace’: Steve Schmidt slams Trump for his ‘slurring’ self-pitying Bedminster performance
Republican campaign consultant -- and ardent never-Trumper -- Steve Schmidt did not think much of Donald Trump's second press conference at his Bedminster golf course on Saturday, stating the president's "slurring" performance loaded down with self-pity was an "utter f*cking disgrace."
Following the president's signing of four executive orders before adoring members of his country club, Schmidt went off on a tweetstorm, ending with calling the president "the greatest failure in American History."
White House turmoil as Trump aides Mnuchin and Navarro get in ‘knockdown, drag-out’ yelling match: report
According to a report from the Washington Post, a discussion in the Oval Office over social media platform TikTok collapsed into a shouting match between Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and trade advisor Peter Navarro while Donald Trump sat and watched.
One spectator described it as “knockdown, drag-out” brawl.
The Post reports Mnuchin was under the understanding that he had convinced Trump to allow a sale of TikTok to Microsoft, only to run into a roadblock put up by Navarro arguing for a total ban.
WATCH: CNN uses video to bust Trump for lying and stealing credit for veterans program signed by Obama
Reacting to Donald Trump's abrupt departure from his Saturday press conference after he was pressed by a CBS White House correspondent Paula Reid for lying and taking credit for a veterans bill signed into law by former President Barack Obama, CNN's Victor Blackwell shared clips of the former president announcing the signing in 2014 and Trump attempting to steal credit yesterday.
According to Blackwell, "One of President Trump's go-to lies is his role in passing Veterans Choice. You saw it at the end of the news conference when he walked away. Well that was when he was faced with a question why he said that he passed Choice and Accountability for the V.A."