Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Twitter chief defends not booting Infowars

Twitter chief defends not booting Infowars

Facebook, Apple, YouTube and Spotify have all banned Jones' from their platforms, saying he promoted hate speech and violence, but Twitter had allowed Jones to continue posting on the platform. Jack Dorsey explained on Tuesday why both remain on the platform.

Jones, the notorious conspiracy theorist now facing lawsuits from a number of Sandy Hook families, was kicked off multiple other platforms and has subsequently decried being "censored", but Twitter has not yet followed suit.

It was a thinly veiled dig at Facebook and YouTube, which took action against Jones on Monday only after Apple made a decision to scrub his podcasts from iTunes on the grounds that they included hate speech. "We know that's hard for many but the reason is simple: he hasn't violated our rules". He may have escaped a ban for not violating Twitter's policies, but Dorsey says: "we'll enforce if he does".

A number of platforms have reached a different conclusion, as the crackdown on Jones intensified this week.

As of this writing, InfoWars is now the fourth most popular free app on the Apple App Store, beating CNN, the New York Times, Google News, HuffPost, and dozens of other mainstream news outlets.

First reported by Buzzfeed News, the move comes after Spotify recently pulled a handful of Jones's podcasts from its own platform.


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He is now being sued by the parents of the children murdered in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting, having claimed the attack was a hoax.

Dorsey also appeared to put the onus of identifying false information on individual users, calling on journalists to "document, validate, and refute such information".

A former communications director for Twitter, Emily Horne, responded directly to Dorsey on Twitter, disagreeing with the decision not to ban Jones and faulting the company's CEO for appearing to blame the outcry against Twitter on "communications". We're fixing that. 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, and adding fuel to new conspiracy theories.

Horne, who now works for the Brookings Institution, said the company's error lay in attempting to separate online behavior from offline activity, arguing that Jones's digital communications "encourage followers to harass/harm people offline".

Jones has described Monday's retaliation from an array of Internet giants as a "coordinated communist-style crackdown", but it followed months of criticism demanding the social media services do more to combat disinformation and hate discourse.

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