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Twitter CEO Expands on Why He Won’t Ban Alex Jones, InfoWars

“We’re going to hold Jones to the same standard we hold to every account, not taking one-off actions to make us feel good in the short term,” Dorsey wrote

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Twitter, tweets, social media
Twitter allows publishers to monetise video views globally. (VOA)

After several social media outlets banned alt-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his show InfoWars earlier this week, Twitter announced it would be keeping Jones, sparking backlash from users.

“We didn’t suspend Alex Jones or Infowars yesterday. We know that’s hard for many but the reason is simple: he hasn’t violated our rules,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey wrote. Jones, who has become notorious for hosting The Alex Jones Show on InfoWars, has more than 860,000 followers on Twitter.

On Monday, sites such as YouTube and Facebook banned Jones and his pages from their platforms, claiming that Jones’s videos violated the sites’ hate speech guidelines.

Jones has repeatedly used language incendiary towards Muslim and transgender people, and in July he appeared to threaten to shoot U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating President Trump and his White House on possible ties to Russia.

“[Mueller is] a demon I will take down, or I’ll die trying,” Jones said on a July broadcast, miming a gun-firing motion with his hands. “You’re going to get it, or I’m going to die trying, bitch.”

In the past, Jones has baselessly alleged the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting in Connecticut were hoaxes perpetrated by the U.S. government.

Alex Jones
Alex Jones (C), an American conspiracy theorist and radio show host, is escorted out of a crowd of protesters after he said he was attacked in Public Square on July 19, 2016, in Cleveland, during the second day of the Republican convention. (VOA)

Several parents of children killed in the Sandy Hook shooting are suing Jones for defamation. In a court document, the parents of one of the slain children claimed Jones broadcast his personal information on his show. At the time of its removal, Jones’s YouTube channel had more than 2.4 million subscribers, with 1.5 billion views across all of its videos.

Twitter’s hateful conduct guidelines bar “wishes for the physical harm, death, or disease of individuals or groups” as well as “behavior that incites fear about a protected group.”

“We do not tolerate behavior that harasses, intimidates, or uses fear to silence another person’s voice,” the site’s guidelines say.

While Dorsey acknowledged in a Tweet that accounts such as InfoWars can “sensationalize issues and spread unsubstantiated rumors,” he also wrote that it “serves the public conversation best” for “journalists document, validate, and refute such information directly.”

Several journalists pushed back against Dorsey’s request.

“I am not getting paid to clean up your website for you,” wrote Matt Pearce, a journalist for The Los Angeles Times, in a response to Dorsey’s Tweet.

Milo Yiannopoulos
Milo Yiannopoulos speaks to a group protesting against CUNY’s decision to allow Linda Sarsour, a liberal Palestinian-American political activist, to speak at commencement in New York, May 25, 2017. (VOA)

Twitter has banned significant alt-right personalities in the past.

In 2016, alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, who has ties to white nationalist groups, was permanently banned from the site after instigating racist and sexist harassment against American actress Leslie Jones, who is black.

Also Read: Twitter May Block Account for Abusive Chats During Live Broadcasts

And in 2017, Twitter suspended the account of James Allsup, a white nationalist who spoke at the “Unite The Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier that year.

“We’re going to hold Jones to the same standard we hold to every account, not taking one-off actions to make us feel good in the short term,” Dorsey wrote Tuesday. (VOA)

Next Story

Twitter Testing New Feature to Filter Spam and Abusive Messages from Direct Message (DM) Inbox

Currently, Twitter allows users to set their DM inbox open to receive messages from anyone

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"Unwanted messages aren't fun. So we're testing a filter in your DM requests to keep those out of sight, out of mind," Twitter Support posted on Friday. Pixabay

Micro-blogging platform Twitter is testing a new feature to filter spam and abusive messages from your Direct Message (DM) inbox.

“Unwanted messages aren’t fun. So we’re testing a filter in your DM requests to keep those out of sight, out of mind,” Twitter Support posted on Friday.

Currently, Twitter allows users to set their DM inbox open to receive messages from anyone.

“This new experiment will test a filter that will move unwanted messages, including those with offensive content or spam, to a separate tab,” reports TechCrunch.

Twitter, Feature, Filter
Micro-blogging platform Twitter is testing a new feature to filter spam and abusive messages from your Direct Message (DM) inbox. Pixabay

Twitter this week announced several changes coming to its platform, including a way to follow topics, a search tool for the Direct Message inbox, as well as support for iOS Live Photos as GIFs.

The new option would allow users search for a particular message by a specific person through a dedicated tab in their DM inbox.

The feature would let users search for a particular message via profile name and likely by Twitter handle.

Last month, the micro-blogging site redesigned the desktop interface of its platform.

Also Read- Feels Like Glorious Days of Test Cricket are Back

The company is also testing an option to let users subscribe to a tweet discussion in order to get notified of any replies. (IANS)