Twitter CEO dissents from social media push to ban Infowars

Erika Holt
August 12, 2018

"We didn't suspend Alex Jones or Infowars yesterday", Dorsey tweeted Tuesday.

Shear goes on to explain that he is not a supporter of Alex Jones or his Infowars productions.

Twitter's VP of trust and safety, Del Harvey, had said in an email to employees earlier on Wednesday that had InfoWars published the offending content to Twitter, it would constitute a violation of Twitter's rules, and would have forced the company to "take action". Seeing as the company has been so vocal lately about trying to curb "troll-like behaviors" and working to "reduce people's ability to detract from healthy public conversation", it seems like they'd be on board with banning someone who has built his career on harassing the parents of murdered children as well as teenage school shooting victims, who uses his platform to spread unsafe and hateful misinformation. "And we'll continue to promote a healthy conversational environment by ensuring tweets aren't artificially amplified". "We take those behaviors as signals and I do want to point out that these signals evolve minute by minute, hourly by hourly, these are not scarlet permanent letters that people then take on as a badge and will never be ranked high in search or not allowed to trend or ranked high in conversations". To many, Alex Jones and his InfoWars content is offensive and in "exceptionally poor taste". This week, YouTube said that its decision to delete the Infowars channel was prompted by Jones violating a temporary ban against broadcasting live on YouTube. When users violate these policies repeatedly, like our policies against hate speech and harassment or our terms prohibiting circumvention of our enforcement measures, we terminate their accounts.

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Jones has also targeted eight other Sandy Hook families in the same way.

Jones has responded to the ban by calling it "21st-century warfare", and an attack on his right to free speech. Jones reportedly said Parkland, Fla., shooting survivors interviewed by the news media were actors and compared student David Hogg to members of the Nazi Party.

Removing the hate-mongering Alex Jones from his platforms is a huge step forward in the fight against fake news.

Issues around fake news and data privacy are no joke, as Facebook recently found out when they lost more than $100 billion from their market value in the course of one trading day.

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