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:
Jack. Is. A. Nazi. https://t.co/Jbe2sIGUV1
— Joel Wertheimer (@Wertwhile) September 3, 2018
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
He’s one of them https://t.co/31HyAnHsL5
— David Greenwald (@davidegreenwald) September 3, 2018
It increasingly strikes me that @jack is a great payments CEO and a not-so-great communication network CEO. A sober Board of Directors at Twitter would take a look at the decisions and results of the past few years — and strongly suggest that Jack pick the payments co full time. https://t.co/VFWXCBhmb4
— Mike Dudas (@mdudas) September 3, 2018
— matt | d’andre swift fan acct (@MattHasTheMusic) September 3, 2018
Hey @jack , I have three questions:
1) Why are you supporting people who spread hatespeech and violate the terms of @Twitter ?
2) Do you secretly believe in the ideology of white supremacists?
3) What will you do to make Twitter a safe space & combat fake news and hatespeech? https://t.co/1i53e9CcMD
— NΛDIR ΛSLΛM (@nadiraslamart) September 3, 2018
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Federal Officials Tell Bernie Sanders Russia Is Working to Help His Presidential Campaign: WaPo
The Washington Post reports U.S. government officials have briefed Senator Bernie Sanders that Russia is working to assist his presidential campaign.
“President Trump and lawmakers on Capitol Hill have also been informed about the Russian assistance to the Vermont senator, according to people familiar with the matter,” the Post notes.
The type or extent of assistant Russia allegedly has undertaken is not known.
“I don’t care, frankly, who Putin wants to be president,” Sanders told The Washington Post in a statement. “My message to Putin is clear: Stay out of American elections, and as president I will make sure that you do.
In Apparent Message, Trump Signs Surprise Pardon for Felon Convicted of Failing to Report Extortion and Bribery
President Donald Trump Tuesday morning unexpectedly signed a full pardon for a man who was convicted of not reporting extortion, a $400,000 bribe he paid to the now-former governor of Louisiana.
Former San Francisco 49ers co-owner Edward DeBartolo, Jr. received the pardon from President trump, who appears once again to be using his power to pardon as a means of sending a message to those who might testify against him. Trump was impeached for extortion of Ukraine.
Voice of America News White House bureau chief Steve Herman breaks the news:
Executive order signed for pardon of convicted felon Edward DeBartolo, announces @hogangidley45.
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) February 18, 2020
“After striking a deal to provide evidence against former Gov. Edwin W. Edwards of Louisiana,” The New York Times reported in 1998, “Edward J. DeBartolo Jr., the co-owner of the San Francisco 49ers, pleaded guilty today to concealing an alleged extortion plot by Mr. Edwards that involved the licensing of a riverboat casino.”
Trump signed the pardon today after meeting with former NFL greats, who spoke in favor of DeBartolo.
— KPIX 5 (@KPIXtv) February 18, 2020
CNN Anchor Destroys Trump Trade Advisor’s False Claims After Showing Viewers Obama’s Numbers Were Better Than Trump’s
President Donald Trump’s Trade Advisor Peter Navarro had to take one for the team after delivering an especially partisan attack on the Obama economy because CNN anchor Poppy Harlow wasn’t having it.
Navarro repeatedly claimed the economy under President Barack Obama was “horrible,” even after Harlow posted numbers and charts that proved growth under the 44th president was far stronger than growth under Trump.
“It’s a great economy now. All I’m asking you is, wasn’t it a good economy then as well?” Harlow asked Navarro.
“No,” he insisted, launching in to a rant.
“Back in the Obama-Biden years it was horrible,” he claimed, all but ignoring the 2008 worldwide economic collapse that Obama inherited – while sneaking in the former vice president’s name in a particularly nasty partisan swipe, and possibly coming dangerously close to the crossing the line of the Hatch Act.
“It was a horrible economy during the Obama years,” he insisted, forcing Harlow to all but beg with him to listen to facts as she had the numbers put back up on the screen.
“Put your numbers up,” Navarro sneered.
“They’re not my numbers – these are from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Harlow told Navarro under Trump the economy has not seen one quarter with growth above 4%, but under Obama it happened four times. She also showed him that job growth under President Obama was 227,000 jobs per month on average for his last 36 months, but under President Trump’s first 36 months it’s just 191,000.
Navarro slammed Obama for having increased the debt. It’s increased far more under Trump.
Harlow reminded Navarro that Trump promised to eliminate the national debt if he was given two terms in office, yet the mosrt recent White House budget says that’s not going to happen.
“We still have five more years,” Navarro retorted.
.@PoppyHarlowCNN after President Trump accused Obama of trying to “take credit” for the economy: “It's a great economy now. All I'm asking you is, wasn't it a good economy then as well?”
WH trade adviser Peter Navarro: “No…It was a horrible economy during the Obama years.” pic.twitter.com/A6LutR01P4
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) February 18, 2020
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