by Kyle Perisic
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey began his tour with media networks to explain Twitter’s speech policies after the backlash he faced from not banning Alex Jones like other tech giants.
Dorsey is planning on speaking with Lester Holt on NBC’s “Nightly News” later in August and Brian Stelter on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” Aug. 12.
Stelter’s interview with Dorsey, the last CEO of a major platform not to ban Jones or InfoWars, has reportedly been in the works for several weeks, Axios reported Wednesday.
Dorsey began his tour Wednesday with Fox News host Sean Hannity on his radio program, where he clarified the company’s decision not to ban Jones.
“This is not easy,” Dorsey said, adding that Twitter hasn’t done a great job explaining the company’s use of the algorithms to enforce its policies.
Dorsey also said Twitter hasn’t done a good job communicating what the company’s principles are or why certain accounts are banned to those users or to the media.
“We have a lot more work to do there,” he said.
Dorsey also insisted on Hannity’s radio show that Twitter does not shadowban users.
Shadowbanning is using algorithms to make users or content harder to search for on social media platforms without completely outright deleting it, giving users the impression they haven’t been censored.
“We do not shadowban according to political ideology or viewpoint or content, period,” Dorsey said.
Twitter employees lashed out at Dorsey for not banning Jones when Facebook, YouTube, Spotify and Apple all did in one form or another either by deleting his account or deleting his podcasts.
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. We’ll enforce if he does. And we’ll continue to promote a healthy conversational environment by ensuring tweets aren’t artificially amplified.
— jack (@jack) August 8, 2018
“I don’t agree with everything Twitter does or doesn’t do. If we can consistently enforce the policies and terms of service for the platform, that’s a good thing. But it doesn’t mean we should be satisfied with the policies we have,” a Twitter engineer, Mike Cvet, wrote Wednesday in a tweet.
Cvet was among many of his co-workers demanding a policy change on Twitter.
“It is impossible to promote healthy dialog with bad-faith actors, who regularly produce toxic, dangerous and demonstrably false conspiracy theories; the objective of which is to mislead, radicalize, divide,” Cvet added.
As a response to employee backlash, Dorsey signaled that Twitter would change its policies regarding “hate speech,” The Daily Caller News Foundation reported.
“Definitely not happy with where our policies are. They need to constantly evolve. Doing that work. Thanks for the thoughtful tweets and push, Mike,” Dorsey responded Wednesday.
Twitter used to advertise itself as “the free speech wing of the free speech party.” It was a phrase repeated often by then-CEO Dick Costolo before his departure in July 2015.
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Kyle Perisic is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation. Follow Kyle on Twitter @KylePerisic.