After Facebook, Apple, YouTube, and Spotify wiped conspiracy theorist Alex Jones off their platforms, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey explained why his company did not take the same action following considerable backlash.
In a series of tweets, Dorsey said, “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.”
“Truth is we’ve been terrible at explaining our decisions in the past,” he went on. “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.”
Dorsey added that Twitter didn’t want to “simply react to outside pressure,” and that it “serves the public conversation best” to allow journalists to refute inaccuracies that surface on accounts like Jones’. He concluded by pasting a link to the social media platform’s rules.
Twitter came under pressure on Monday after Apple removed all episodes of five of Infowars’ six podcast series from iTunes, saying they violated its hate-speech rules. Spotify also removed all of “The Alex Jones Show” from its platform after yanking multiple episodes the prior weekend, and Facebook quickly followed suit on Monday, scrubbing four pages operated by Jones.
YouTube also banned multiple channels run by Jones on Monday, saying his main channel had been “terminated for violating YouTube’s community guidelines.”
This isn’t the first time that Twitter has faced criticism over its treatment of far-right agitators. Late last year, the company came under fire for verifying the account of Jason Kessler, the right-wing extremist who organized last year’s “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville. As a response, the company temporarily suspended the verification process for all accounts.
However, Twitter has booted some far-right leaders from its platform in the past. The company deleted the account of Breitbart columnist Milo Yiannopoulos after he incited a harassment campaign against “Ghostbusters” star Leslie Jones. And in October, the company announced a plan to ban organizations that promote violence.
See Dorsey’s full thread below.