Tuesday November 13, 2018
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Twitter Bans Alex Jones For Violating Its Policy

The hearings came just after President Donald Trump accused Google's search engine of being biased against him.

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Twitter, Infowars
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones speaks outside the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., after listening to Facebook and Twitter executives testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on foreign influence operations and their use of social media, Sept. 5, 2018. Twitter said Sept. 6 that it was permanently banning right-wing conspiracy theorist Jones and his "Infowars" show for abusive behavior.. VOA
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Twitter has permanently banned far-right media personality Alex Jones for violating its policy against “abusive behavior.”

Jones, who is known as a conspiracy theorist, has about 900,000 followers on Twitter. His Infowars website has hundreds of thousands of followers, as well.

Twitter accused Jones of violating its policy after he was seen on television berating and insulting a CNN reporter waiting to enter congressional hearings on social media policies.

Jones called the reporter a smiling “possum caught doing some really nasty stuff” and also made fun of his clothes.

Twitter
The Twitter logo appears on a phone post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.. VOA

Twitter had previously suspended Jones’ account, but now he is banned from posting on the social media site.

Jones has yet to comment.

Jones is one of the country’s most controversial media figures, known for saying the President George W. Bush White House was responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He also called the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre a fake. Some of the parents of the murdered children are suing Jones.

Alex Jones
Alex Jones from Infowars.com speaks during a rally in support of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump near the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. VOA

The congressional hearings were focused on whether such social media sites as Google and Facebook are prepared against fake foreign accounts that may be aimed at influencing U.S. elections.

Also Read: Facebook Removes Alex Jones Page for Hate, Bullying

The hearings came just after President Donald Trump accused Google’s search engine of being biased against him. (VOA)

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Twitter Takes Multiple Steps To Curb Misinformation Before Elections in India

More than 80 per cent of the Twitter accounts linked to spread of disinformation

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Twitter, tweets, India
The Twitter logo appears on a phone post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.. VOA

Twitter is taking “multi-variable” steps, including the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, to curb the spread of misleading information on its platform ahead of 2019 general election in India, Co-Founder and CEO Jack Dorsey said here on Monday.

Addressing a Town Hall-style meeting at the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi (IIT-D), Dorsey said fake news is a way too big category.

“The real problem is not misinformation per se as jokes can also be categorised as misinfomation. But misinformation that is spread with the intent to mislead people is a real problem,” stressed the Twitter CEO who is in India on a week-long maiden visit.

Dorsey, who got a rousing reception at IIT-D with the students wildly cheering the young entrepreneur, likened solving the problem of misleading information to that of addressing a security issue, or building a lock.

Twitter, India
Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on foreign influence operations and their use of social media on Capitol Hill. VOA

“No one can build a perfect lock, but we need to stay ahead of our attackers. AI could probably help,” Dorsey told the audience.

Earlier in the day, the Twitter CEO met Congress President Rahul Gandhi and discussed various steps the social network was taking to curb the spread of fake news and boost healthy conversation on its platform.

Dorsey also met Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama over the weekend. He was also expected to meet Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in the wake of the growing criticism over Twitter’s role in the spread of misinformation and fake news as India faces Assembly polls in five states in November-December ahead of next year’s general elections.

Twitter, India
Twitter on a smartphone device. Pixabay

Twitter, along with other social media platforms, including Facebook, came under intense scrutiny of policymakers in the US for their failure to stop the spread of misinformation by Russia-linked accounts on their platforms during the 2016 Presidential election.

The micro-blogging site since then has stepped up its efforts to curb the spread of divisive messages and fake news on its platform.

To further protect the integrity of elections, Twitter recently announced that it would now delete fake accounts engaged in a variety of emergent, malicious behaviour.

India, elections
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses the gathering during the ‘Global Mobility Summit’ in New Delhi, India, VOA

As part of the new rules, accounts that deliberately mimic or are intended to replace accounts that were previously suspended for violating rules may be identified as fake accounts, Twitter said recently.

Also Read: Twitter Giving Its Users More Freedom to Report Fake, Suspicious Accounts

However, according to a Knight Foundation study released in October, more than 80 per cent of the Twitter accounts linked to spread of disinformation during the 2016 US election are still active. (IANS)