Twitter CEO defends decision not to ban Alex Jones and InfoWars

Apple logo inside of an Apple store at Grand Central Station in New York U.S. Aug. 1 2018

Apple logo inside of an Apple store at Grand Central Station in New York U.S. Aug. 1 2018

"So, these are models that are looking at behaviors and behaviors of bad-faith actors who intend to manipulate, distract, divide a conversation or to unfairly amplify their content which they didn't earn so those are the signals that factor in and we do rank search, we do rank trends and we do rank conversations accordingly", Dorsey said. "We'll enforce if he does", Dorsey tweeted. (In fact, the terms of service for itself includes such a provision.) It's also worth noting that the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment does not protect defamatory speech or incitements to violence.

A set of new rules on "hateful conduct and abusive behavior", implemented by Twitter at the end of previous year, added additional content, such as "hateful imagery", to the category of material banned because it constitutes "specific threats of violence or wishing for serious physical harm, death, or disease to an individual or group of people". Apple, Facebook and Google's YouTube removed content associated with Jones and InfoWars for violating their policies.

After removing several of Jones' podcasts from its digital store earlier this week, Apple came under fire for leaving up the Infowars app.

A decision late Sunday by Apple to erase virtually all of Jones' podcasts from iTunes and its podcast apps set off a cascade.

Jones has also claimed that the September 11, 2001 attacks on NY and Washington were staged by the United States government.

Among other claims, he has called the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting a hoax.

While I am not a listener or supporter of Mr. Jones', his audience has every right to watch his videos and listen to him and connect with him online. "If an app or user violates these, we take action", BuzzFeed News quoted a Google spokesperson as saying.

Under mounting public pressure, Facebook has now changed its mind.

A Twitter spokeswoman told the The Daily Caller News Foundation that Twitter's policies are constantly evolving and pointed to Dorsey's tweets and a Tuesday blog post for further information.

The videos reportedly included one that centred on Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg, who Jones likened to members of the Nazi Party. Harvey says that Twitter hasn't banned Infowars because they haven't posted the same kind of offensive content on Twitter as they have on, say, Facebook.

On Aug. 9, Harvey published an email to employees saying the company had "a number of conversations with staff about Alex Jones" and made a decision to accelerate plans to review a new policy against "dehumanizing speech" to "help customers feel safe as it relates to hate speech". This followed news that the company had shared the data of 87 million users with political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.

The surge suggests the tech industry's recent action against Infowars has drawn new interest to the fringe outlet and the conspiracy theories it peddles.

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