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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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Has Completed More Cancer Treatment
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent outpatient pancreatic cancer radiation therapy and has been declared cancer-free, according MSNBC’s Pete Williams and a statement from the Supreme Court.
“The tumor was treated definitively and there is no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body,” the SCOTUS statement says. “No further treatment is needed at this time.”
The three-week treatment was completed at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
Ginsburg, who is 86 and keeps an active schedule, has maintained she will continue to serve as long as she feel capable.
NEW: Justice Ginsburg has completed a 3 week course of radiation therapy to treat a tumor on her pancreas. “The tumor was treated definitively and there is no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body.” pic.twitter.com/vGo8hyNRJZ
— Kimberly Robinson (@KimberlyRobinsn) August 23, 2019
Here’s MSNBC’s report:
Internet Responds to Death of Billionaire Conservative Activist David Koch by Reminding Everyone What He Stood For
Billionaire conservative political activist David Koch has just died. He was 79. With his brother he founded and ran the massive Koch Industries. He was worth an estimated $48 billion.
Koch will be lauded by some as a philanthropist – his name appears on buildings like New York City’s Lincoln Center, and he donated to hospitals, museums, and universities. But many Americans will remember him as one of the major players behind the Tea Party, and using his vast wealth to help massively reconstruct American politics into, some say, the vitriolic insanity we see today.
Jane Mayer, who literally wrote the book on “Dark Money” in politics, including the impact of the Koch brothers, last year penned another deep dive into their history.
She wrote at The New Yorker that in 1980 “Charles convinced his younger brother David to run for Vice-President on the Libertarian Party ticket. The brothers regarded Ronald Reagan, who was running for President that year, as too liberal. The Libertarian platform called for abolishing all federal income taxes and virtually every federal agency, including the I.R.S., the F.B.I., the C.I.A., the F.E.C., the E.P.A., the F.D.A., and the S.E.C. The party also opposed Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, public education, and minimum-wage and child-labor laws. Charles and David, former members of the John Birch Society, which their father, Fred, helped found, regarded centralized government as a scourge akin to Communism. At the time, however, such views were considered kooky even by most conservatives. The conservative stalwart William F. Buckley, Jr., called the Kochs’ views “Anarcho-Totalitarianism.” The voters’ verdict was equally harsh. David spent two million dollars of his own money on his candidacy in 1980, but he was trounced. The Libertarian Party earned only one per cent of the vote.”
On social media some are sharing their remembrances of David Koch, and what he stood for.
Here’s CNN’s Keith Boykin:
David Koch wanted to abolish public schools, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and rent control. He financed groups that denied the research on climate change. He funded the Tea Party. And he used dark money to support right-wing causes and Republican candidates for office. https://t.co/x08wiaOh9p
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) August 23, 2019
Salon’s Amanda Marcotte:
I see some celebrating David Koch’s death. I’m not. I wish every major climate change denialist lived to be 200 years old, so they can see the horrors they are unleashing on the rest of us.
— Amanda Marcotte (@AmandaMarcotte) August 23, 2019
Millions of Americans have suffered because of David Koch’s relentless drive to allow corporations to do anything they want to our communities and environment without any govt rules or oversight. The man’s legacy is ruination.
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) August 23, 2019
David Koch is dead.
But his legacy of destroying the environment, fostering income inequality and manipulating our democratic process to favor minority rule will live on for a long time.#FridayFeeling
— Grant Stern (@grantstern) August 23, 2019
— Gregory Pecked (@Gregory_Pecked) August 23, 2019
David Koch accumulated a fortune of $42 billion and worked tirelessly for much of his life to make himself ever richer, at the expense of his workers, the country as a whole and the environment.
He wasn’t able to take a penny of his fortune with him when he died this morning.
— Pé Resists (@4everNeverTrump) August 23, 2019
David Koch admits to using American for Prosperity to “support” Scott Walker. That’s illegal, a violation of IRS laws and election laws.
— John Nichols (@NicholsUprising) February 24, 2012
Billionaire David Koch, of The Koch brothers, dies. Best known for “Kochtopus” a vast political network they built known for far-reaching tentacles in support of conservative causes, founded the anti-tax, small government group Americans for Prosperity. https://t.co/HAyXRLrieF
— Christian Borges (@christianborges) August 23, 2019
people will try to be nice & note David Koch opposed the war on drugs/militarism but the money he gave opposing these twin evils was trivial compared to the funds he gave supporting candidates that backed the war on drugs/militarism & the related ideology of starving poor people https://t.co/L00LKvebfF
— Adam H. Johnson (@adamjohnsonNYC) August 23, 2019
If you have nothing nice to say about the dead, maybe just recite the facts.
I’m glad this world has not yet come to be and I hope and pray it never will. https://t.co/zfeQ2sxryu
— Ed Bott (@edbott) August 23, 2019
David Koch’s biggest legacy was convincing aging white voters that it was OK to be mad at the black man who fixed the economy and tripled David Koch’s wealth. https://t.co/dM9vMX6s0P
— The Daily Edge (@TheDailyEdge) August 23, 2019
David Koch leaves behind him a nasty legacy of:
– oil spils
– overall evil fuckery
Not a nice guy. https://t.co/kFdX5654SS
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) August 23, 2019
David Koch represented a Republican Party of the past when racism and misogyny drove public policy, but it was more discreet and there weren’t red hats. RIP.
— Andrew Abramson 🌎 (@AbramsonFL) August 23, 2019
Neo-feudalistic elitist David Koch, whose narcissistic hatred for democracy corrupted the American system of government on multiple fronts, has died. Also a well-known donor to the arts, Koch’s primary legacy will be that of a chaos agent.https://t.co/mFDwdGj5LE
— Resister In The Rain (@meerkatrodeo) August 23, 2019
Trump’s Claims About His Performance on Jobs Just Got Destroyed by One of His Own Federal Agencies
Job Growth Was Much Weaker Than First Reported – and Much Weaker Than Trump Brags About
President Donald Trump’s approval rating is consistently dismal, but the one area that always pulls his low numbers up is how voters think he’s handling the economy and unemployment. Trump talks all the time about how great the economy is – like taking credit when the DOW jumps up or when unemployment drops down, but never taking blame when the reverse occurs.
For example, here’s President Trump talking about the economy and low unemployment numbers – to children and their families – at a White House Easter egg roll:
President Trump speaks at White House Easter Egg Roll: “We’re setting records on stock markets. We’re setting records with jobs. And unemployment numbers are the lowest they’ve ever been — 50 years and many groups in historically the lowest numbers we’ve ever had.” pic.twitter.com/RGTbExjDwR
— The Hill (@thehill) April 22, 2019
Trump’s claims about jobs just got slammed, and the wrecking ball comes from one of his own federal agencies: the Dept. of Labor.
Every year the DOL goes back and reviews the numbers it puts out, dives deeper by comparing them to state unemployment insurance reports, and issues a report measuring what unemployment and job growth really was.
And for 2018, the numbers are much different than what the initial reports showed.
“Employers added a half-million fewer jobs in 2018 and early 2019 than previously reported,” according to the Labor Department, The New York Times reports, calling the revision downward “the largest in recent years.”
In other words, the DOL initially reported an additional 500,000 jobs that were never created.
Here’s what that looks like:
Employers added half a million fewer jobs in 2018 and early 2019 than previously believed, the latest evidence that the economy was weaker last year than it first looked. https://t.co/3cYmPTKfiO pic.twitter.com/HcbWq46GLz
— Ben Casselman (@bencasselman) August 21, 2019
A contributing editor at Digital Trends says it’s a 21% drop in job growth numbers from what the Trump administration often claims:
After factoring in the half a million reduction, that’s roughly a 21% decline in American job growth when comparing the data set the Trump admin likes to tout (Nov 2016 – July 2019) versus the previous 33 months (Feb 2014 – Oct 2016).
— Mike Flacy (@mikeflacy) August 22, 2019
And this senior economist offers up what the revision to the jobs numbers might look like if spread out over just a few months.
Important point I forgot to mention on BLS benchmark revision of jobs numbers. They were almost certainly not evenly spread over the year. Take an extreme case and the full 500k was in the last three months. It means job growth over the period from Dec to March was just 21,000
— Dean Baker (@DeanBaker13) August 22, 2019
“2018, which had ranked among the strongest years of job growth in the decade-long recovery, was weaker than previously believed,” the Times also reports.
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