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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Bolsonaro: ‘I Drank Hydroxychloroquine and I’m Feeling Great’
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has reportedly contracted COVID-19 and says he’s taking hydroxychloroquine as a means to recovery. The 65-year-old confirmed the diagnosis to journalists on Tuesday as he arrived to his presidential palace.
After asking reporters to step aside, Bolsonaro removed his face mask. “See, I am fine. See you next week, God willing.”
— AS-Source News (@ASB_Breaking) July 7, 2020
Bolsonaro said he was suffering muscle aches, fatigue and a fever but otherwise felt “normal.” This is a man who, prior to his diagnosis, repeatedly referred to COVID-19 as “just a little flu” and said the media coverage of the pandemic was “hysteria.” He also said, “Life continues. But if the economy doesn’t work it will bring new forms of death and suicide.”
The Los Angeles Times reported that more than 65,000 Brazilians have died from COVID-19 — the second-highest death toll in the world after the United States. An additional 1.6 million people have tested positive for the virus in Brazil. Low levels of testing mean deaths and infections are likely much higher.
With his positive COVID-19 result, Bolsonaro now joins U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez. The latter two world leaders were hospitalized during treatment.
– Coletiva no Palácio do Alvorada – 07 JULHO de 2020. https://t.co/FCKPt1yh5l
— Jair M. Bolsonaro (@jairbolsonaro) July 7, 2020
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, who repeatedly played down the risks of Covid-19, has tested positive
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) July 7, 2020
#Bolsonaro: Covid-19 is just a little flu
— kj3ll0l (@Kj3ll0l) July 7, 2020
— #BlackLivesMatter Schaltjahr (@chiquitaflanke) July 7, 2020
#Bolsonaro (finally) acknowledged grave risk posed by a virus he'd dismissed as just a "little flu." "We know the fatality of the virus for those of a certain age, like me, above 65, and for those with comorbidities, diseases, other issues." ARE YOU THINKING WHAT I'M THINKING?
— bettemidler (@BetteMidler) July 7, 2020
— TRJFF (@TRJFF) July 7, 2020
— Dwayne Walton (@23dwayne) July 7, 2020
Trump Shamefully Withdraws United States from World Health Organization During Pandemic
In an absolutely shameful move for Americans everywhere (whether they believe it right now or not), the Trump White House has announced its departure from the World Health Organization (WHO). The line was drawn in the proverbial sand on Tuesday, July 7.
“We have detailed the reforms that it [the WHO] must make and engaged with them directly, but they have refused to act,” Trump said.
According to The Hill, the United States contributes upwards of $400 million annually to the WHO — the group’s largest contributor — and public health experts have warned that a suspension of funds would severely damage the organization.
Following Trump’s ill-timed announcement, United States Senator Bob Menendez tweeted, “Congress received notification that POTUS officially withdrew the U.S. from the WHO in the midst of a pandemic. To call Trump’s response to COVID chaotic & incoherent doesn’t do it justice. This won’t protect American lives or interests — it leaves Americans sick & America alone.”
Congress received notification that POTUS officially withdrew the U.S. from the @WHO in the midst of a pandemic.
To call Trump’s response to COVID chaotic & incoherent doesn't do it justice. This won't protect American lives or interests—it leaves Americans sick & America alone.
— Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez) July 7, 2020
“I disagree with the president’s decision,” Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said in a statement. “Certainly there needs to be a good, hard look at mistakes the World Health Organization might have made in connection with coronavirus, but the time to do that is after the crisis has been dealt with, not in the middle of it.”
“Withdrawing U.S. membership could, among other things, interfere with clinical trials that are essential to the development of vaccines, which citizens of the United States as well as others in the world need,” Alexander added.. “And withdrawing could make it harder to work with other countries to stop viruses before they get to the United States.”
It’s not the first time Trump has publicly denounced the WHO and it certainly won’t be his last. Trump said this past May that “China’s pattern of misconduct is well-known. For decades, they’ve ripped off the United States like no one has ever done before. Hundreds of billions of dollars per year were lost dealing with China, especially over the years during the prior administration. China raided our factories, off-shored our jobs, gutted our industries, stole our intellectual property and violated their commitments under the World Trade Organization.”
Although Trump has put the plan in motion to extricate America from the WHO, there may still be a long legal battle ahead if Congress challenges the decision in court since Congress already allocated funding for the WHO in its current spending bill.
119 days, America. The world is literally watching.
— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) July 7, 2020
Trump just formally withdrew the United States from the World Health Organization. What a shameful moment.
— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) July 7, 2020
I will say it again. National unity. Global solidarity.
This is our only road out of this pandemic"-@DrTedros
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) July 7, 2020
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) July 7, 2020
Petty, short-sighted and criminally irresponsible. #WHO is the world body that coordinates the global response to the virus. Now, we’re not just alone in our ineptitude, we’re actually alone. https://t.co/EDpNYva29j
— Richard Stengel (@stengel) July 7, 2020
Leaving the #WHO is a monumentally stupid decision from a deathly incompetent administration. It undermines our efforts to get #Covid under control while locking us out of the main global body tracking & responding to the virus. https://t.co/jSs2S5c8XF
— Samantha Power (@SamanthaJPower) July 7, 2020
— Barbara Malmet (@B52Malmet) July 7, 2020
— Prof. Dr. H. C. Vollmar (@hcvollmar) July 7, 2020
— Maalai Malar News (@maalaimalar) July 7, 2020
— Market Raptor (@swissraptor) July 7, 2020
Mary Trump: President Never Took SATs — and Paid Someone Else to Do It for Him
The explosive new tell-all book written by President Donald Trump’s niece about their family history alleges that the president only got into a good college because of a fraudulently obtained SAT score.
According to the New York Times, Mary Trump claims in her book that “as a high school student in Queens… Donald Trump paid someone to take a precollegiate test, the SAT, on his behalf.”
Mary Trump also claims that this fraudulent score helped him get into the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Wharton business school, which the president often boasts about having attended.
The upcoming book, titled “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” paints a frightening portrait of how the president was groomed by his father to be ruthless and unsympathetic toward other people. Even though the Trump family has sued to stop the book’s publication, it is currently slated to release next week.
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