Twitter CEO defends decision not to ban Alex Jones and InfoWars

Twitter CEO Dorsey goes on Hannity to defend racist posts, Alex Jones

Twitter, Dorsey said Tuesday, would not follow suit because Jones had not crossed the line on its service.

To discuss the decision, Dorsey chose to give a rare media interview - but made the perplexing decision to sit down with Fox News' Sean Hannity. We need to balance all of those constraints.

"We didn't suspend Alex Jones or Infowars yesterday", Dorsey wrote in a series of tweets. Transparency is a lovely thing, and we'd all probably be better off if tech companies brought their operations, motives, and funding into the open. If conspiracy theories are given a platform and allowed to propagate, no amount of fact-checking can stem the tide.

"If we succumb and simply react to outside pressure, rather than straightforward principles we enforce (and evolve) impartially regardless of political viewpoints, we become a service that's constructed by our personal views that can swing in any direction", Jack writes.

The rush of interested users comes after influential tech platforms - including Facebook, Google-owned YouTube and Apple - took their most assertive actions yet against Jones and his Infowars brand for violating their rules against hateful language.

"Truth is we've been awful at explaining our decisions in the past", Dorsey said in one of his tweets.

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Dorsey hasn't directly defended attacking dead children and their grieving parents, but he has argued that he can't be expected to play nanny to people who don't necessarily do these things on Twitter.

But at the heart of Dorsey's position is the idea that if we just understood why Twitter provides an outlet for the worst voices of the internet, maybe we would be fine with it. And in doing so we eschew real discourse, the kind that takes these problematic claims like many of Jones' to task, for tribalism and stubbornness.

At the same time, we're learning more and more about how digital platforms were used as tools to spread false information and influence both the 2016 USA presidential election and the UK Brexit referendum.

He added that he didn't plan on having a "confrontational interview" with Dorsey.

Listen to the full interview between Twitter's Jack Dorsey and Sean Hannity here.

First published August 8 at 1:56 p.m. PT. Update at 2:43 p.m.: Adds context throughout and an additional quote from Dorsey.

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