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Twitter CEO Reacts To Criticism Given By Donald Trump

The company has denied that charge, but conservatives have continued to push the issue ahead of the 2018 elections.

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Jack Dorsey, CEO and co-founder of Twitter and founder and CEO of Square, speaks at the Consensus 2018 blockchain technology conference in New York City. VOA

Twitter’s CEO says the company is not biased against Republicans or Democrats and is working on ways to ensure that debate is healthier on its platform.

In prepared testimony released ahead of a House hearing Wednesday, Jack Dorsey says he wants to be clear about one thing: “Twitter does not use political ideology to make any decisions, whether related to ranking content on our service or how we enforce our rules.”

The testimony comes as some Republicans say conservatives have been censored on social media and have questioned the platform’s algorithms. Dorsey will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday afternoon on that subject, following a morning hearing before the Senate intelligence committee on foreign interference in social media.

At the Senate hearing, Twitter and Facebook plan to tell the intelligence panel that they are aggressively working to root out foreign actors who want to influence U.S. elections. Lawmakers are especially concerned about the upcoming midterm elections after Russia used social media accounts to try to influence the 2016 election.

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The logo for Twitter is displayed above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. vOA

To address concerns about bias, Dorsey offers an explanation of how Twitter uses “behavioral signals,” such as the way accounts interact and behave on the service. Those signals can help weed out spam and abuse.

He says such behavioral analysis “does not consider in any way” political views or ideology.

Dorsey says the San Francisco-based company is also “committed to help increase the collective health, openness, and civility of public conversation, and to hold ourselves publicly accountable towards progress.”

He says the company has continued to identify accounts that may be linked to a Russian internet agency that was indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller earlier this year. The indictment detailed an elaborate plot by Russians to disrupt the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Dorsey says Twitter has so far suspended 3,843 accounts the company believes are linked to the agency, and has seen recent activity.

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Donald Trump, Wikimedia Commons

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s No. 2 executive, is also planning to detail efforts to take down material linked to the Russian agency, including the removal of 270 Facebook pages that targeted Russian speakers around the world. Sandberg says in prepared testimony for the Senate panel that the company’s overall understanding of the Russian activity in 2016 is still limited “because we do not have access to the information or investigative tools” that the U.S. government has.

“This is an arms race, and that means we need to be ever more vigilant,” Sandberg says.

There is expected to be an empty seat at the Senate intelligence panel’s witness table reserved for Larry Page, the CEO of Google’s parent company, Alphabet. The company declined to send Page and offered another executive instead; the committee said no.

Only Dorsey was invited to the House hearing after specific Republican concerns about bias on Twitter. President Donald Trump has charged that some Republicans have been “shadow banned” because of the ways that some search results have appeared.

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Twitter CEO Says Company Isn’t Biased, Wants Healthy Debate. Pixabay

Also Read: USA Sees a Significant Rise in STD Cases

The company has denied that charge, but conservatives have continued to push the issue ahead of the 2018 elections.

“Sadly, conservatives are too often finding their voices silenced,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said in a statement when the hearing was announced. “We all agree that transparency is the only way to fully restore Americans’ trust in these important public platforms.” (VOA)

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Democrats Stand Firm Against Donald Trump’s Exchange Offer

Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner said Democrats should not "reward the kind of behaviour of hostage-taking"

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President Donald Trump speaks about American missile defense doctrine, Jan 17, 2019, at the Pentagon. VOA

Despite President Donald Trump’s offer to end the ongoing partial government shutdown and fund a border wall in exchange for temporary protections for groups of immigrants, Democrats stood by their demand to reopen the government before negotiating about the border.

“Let’s not hold the American people, especially the federal workers, hostage to these negotiations,” South Carolina Representative Jim Clyburn, a member of Democratic leadership, told Fox News on Sunday.

“And hopefully we will open with what he has put on the table, and let’s go back and forth on this and see where we can find common ground.”

The Democratic rejection came as Vice President Mike Pence made clear on Sunday that the Republicans intended to go forward with the plan the President outlined on Saturday during a 13-minute televised speech from the White House, CNN reported.

Trump has suggested extending protections for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme recipients for three years and a three-year extension of protections for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders.

The shutdown that began on December 22, has left roughly a quarter of the government closed and forcing 800,000 federal employees furloughed or work without pay.

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Trump presses Democrats on border wall funding ahead of Senate meeting. VOA

But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected it even before Trump spoke. On Sunday, the President took to Twitter to slam Pelosi for rejecting his deal.

“Nancy Pelosi and some of the Democrats turned down my offer yesterday (Saturday) before I even got up to speak. They don’t see crime and drugs, they only see 2020 – which they are not going to win. Best economy! They should do the right thing for the country and allow people to go back to work.

“No, Amnesty is not a part of my offer. It is a three year extension of DACA. Amnesty will be used only on a much bigger deal, whether on immigration or something else. Likewise there will be no big push to remove the 11,000,000 plus people who are here illegally-but be careful Nancy,” he said in a series of tweets.

Some other Democrat leaders have also slammed the President’s offer.

Also Read- Actress Manisha Koirala Hopes to Write More Books in Future

New York Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who entered the 2020 race just days ago, told CNN on Sunday that Trump’s offer of only temporary protection from deportation showed he “has no empathy” for people affected by the decision.

Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner said Democrats should not “reward the kind of behaviour of hostage-taking”.

Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard, meanwhile, told CNN that “both sides” were responsible for the ongoing impasse and called for genuine negotiations. (IANS)