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Twitter Was Going to Ban Alex Jones – Until Its CEO Stepped in and Stopped It: Report

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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:

 

Image by JD Lasica via Flickr and a CC license

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Trump Refuses to Answer Questions in Deposition Over Lawsuit That His Security Team Assaulted Protesters: Report

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This Monday, former President Donald Trump testified under oath for over four hours regarding an incident in 2015 when activists outside Trump Tower were attacked by his security team while they were protesting.

The protesters said they were assaulted during a rally outside Trump Tower over the then-candidate’s comments that Mexican immigrants were criminals and rapists.

According to The Daily Beast, the activists’ lawyer, Benjamin Dictor, said there were a handful of questions that Trump declined to answer.

“This deposition was like any other deposition of an employer who was a defendant in a civil matter,” Dictor told The Daily Beast. “Everything proceeded professionally.”

“On Monday, the ex-president was expected to be questioned about whether he authorized or condoned his henchmen to manhandle protesters or otherwise remove activists from his events in general, as well as what role one particular guard—Keith Schiller—played in Trump’s inner circle,” The Beast reports. “Among the other potential subjects of inquiry on Monday was Matthew Calamari, the Trump Organization’s chief operating officer and former director of security who was present the day of the rally. Last month, sources told The Daily Beast that Calamari was under scrutiny by Manhattan prosecutors as part of a tax fraud probe into the business and its executives.”

Read the full report over at The Daily Beast.

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Former US Secretary of State, Joint Chiefs Chairman Colin Powell Remembered by Those Who Knew Him

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Colin Powell, the first Black U.S. Secretary of State, died Monday morning of complications from COVID-19. The former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was 84 and battling a blood cancer that impacts the body’s ability to fight infections, along with Parkinson’s. His family in a statement said he was fully vaccinated.

Powell served under both Republican and Democratic Presidents, including serving as United States National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan.

News of his death has shocked the nation, with many who knew him sharing their memories of the highly-respected diplomat and military leader.

A sampling.

This article will be updated with more reactions throughout the day.

 

Image by U.S. Department of State via Flickr 

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Morning Joe Panel Issues a Warning – and Explains How the GOP Could Win in 2024 ‘In a Landslide’

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A discussion on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on comments made by Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), who said he didn’t see Donald Trump successfully winning the 2024 presidential election, led to an agreement by host Joe Scarborough and marketing expert Donny Deutsch that the GOP could reclaim the White House that year — as long as Trump wasn’t the Republican Party candidate.

Speaking with Axios, the Louisana Republican questioned whether Trump could even be the nominee, saying, “President Trump is the first president in the Republican side at least to lose the House, the Senate and the presidency in four years. Elections are about winning.”

Using that as a springboard, host Scarborough asked Deutsch whether Cassidy was off base with his comments.

“Does Donald Trump still own the Republican Party? Yes,” Scarborough began. “But that Republican Party is a lot smaller and a lot less influential in suburbs across America and more educated Americans if you look at the polling number. Again, I know everybody is scared of Donald Trump, it just does not seem like the trend lines are going well for him in terms of putting together a coalition that can win.”

“Here is the fact,” Deutsch exclaimed. “If the Republicans ran anybody but Donald Trump, they would win in a landslide. Anybody just right of center.”

“Anybody?” the MSNBC host prompted.” Donny, nobody has said this enough. You go back and look at 2020, Democrats were shocked by how badly they underperformed in the House and shocked how badly they underperformed in the Senate. Donald Trump had to work overtime to make Mitch McConnell the minority leader in Georgia — they had to work overtime to lose that. You look at state legislatures across America that were less connected to Trump and they did very well. You look at governorships less connected to Trump and they did very well. Republicans had a pretty, darn good election cycle in 2020 despite the fact they should have been wiped off the face of the political earth because of the insanity and the neo-fascism Donald Trump was pushing.”

“If anybody except for Trump ran, they would have won by 20 points,” Scarborough added.

“I would like to to see polls, a poll of Trump against Biden, which I think Trump would eke out a victory, ” Deutsch claimed. “But then I want to see pools with Nikki Haley or Ron DeSantis or fill in the blank and they’ll win by double digits. You know, I live in this bubble and this very kind of blue state and I can’t tell you the unrest with the feeling the Democrats are in control and running things and Biden is not putting his hands on the wheel and nobody on deck. That is the concern the Democrats have. If Republicans are smart they would move away from Trump. Can they and will they? You and I don’t know that. But, clearly, if they did, it would be a landslide.”

Watch below:

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