Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Dorsey Says InfoWars' Alex Jones Hasn't Violated Twitter's Rules

Dorsey Says InfoWars' Alex Jones Hasn't Violated Twitter's Rules

Earlier this week, a group of large tech firms took action against conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. It was the first major company to sanction the broadcaster in its entirety as pressure has mounted on content sharing platforms in recent months to clampdown on Jones and Infowars.

Infowars broke the app stores top 10 in the news category on Tuesday, edging out CNN, Fox News and The New York Times apps.

Facebook unpublished four InfoWars branded pages for "repeated violations of community standards and accumulating too many strikes" going onto say "Upon review, we have taken it down for glorifying violence ... and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies". Days after Apple, Spotify, Youtube et al turned their backs on the conspiracy theorist, the app's United States popularity manifestly increased, coming in as the fourth most popular news app in Apple's App Store, and eleventh on the Google Play Store.

In the same thread, Dorsey said Twitter in the past has "been bad at explaining our decisions" but that they're "fixing that".

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He said he wanted the company to avoid succumbing to outside pressure but instead impartially enforce straightforward principles "regardless of political viewpoints". The reason that the platforms gave Jones is that his content has been labeled as hate speech. And Spotify said, "The Alex Jones Show has lost access to the Spotify platform".

As NPR has reported, the removal of Jones' content began late last month when Facebook and YouTube pulled several of his videos. Dorsey said it's the responsibility of the press, which is "what serves the public conversation best".

Jones has a history of promoting conspiracy theories, such as his false claim that the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax.

Rather than banning people like Jones, Dorsey explained that journalists should work to refute unsubstantiated rumors, which will allow people to form their own opinions. Everyone is now anticipating if any other media company will be targeted in this way by the social media giant and just how veracious this crackdown on fake news will be. "And if you make the fact we need an Internet Bill of Rights, and antitrust-busting on these companies, if they don't back off right now", Jones said.

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