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READ: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Tweets Alex Jones’s Account Was Not Suspended Because ‘He Hasn’t Violated Our Rules’

Points for transparency.
Twitter, Alex Jones, Jack Dorsey

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 21: CEO of Twitter and Square Jack Dorsey accepts the award for CEO of the Year onstage during the Thurgood Marshall College Fund 28th Annual Awards Gala at Washington Hilton on November 21, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Teresa Kroeger/Getty Images for Thurgood Marshall College Fund)

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey provided an explanation for why Infowars personality Alex Jones’s Twitter account had not been suspended despite his proclivity for hate speech and other violent rhetoric, but his claim that Jones “hasn’t violated our rules” did not go over well.

“We know that’s hard for many but the reason is simple: he hasn’t violated our rules. We’ll enforce if he does,” Dorsey wrote.

Dorsey conceded that Twitter had “been terrible at explaining our decisions in the past,” but insisted the company would hold Jones and his behavior to the “same standard” every account is held.

Dorsey added that Twitter chooses not to “react to outside pressure” and prefers to stick to its own standards to determine which users are banned from the platform. In any event, he said, Jones’s account is of value to journalists, who can “document, validate, and refute” the information he puts out, which has often been subject to heated criticism for propagating rumors and conspiracy theories.

Dorsey’s explanation was immediately criticized by the Twitter community. Many questioned the purpose of allowing the man who claimed the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax and that the victims of the shooting were mere “crisis actors” to retain his Twitter account, particularly when platforms like YouTube and Spotify have chosen to suspend his accounts and cull Infowars and similar content from their platforms altogether.

One user accused Dorsey of “pretending, like facebook, that you are not the news media & bear no responsibility,” a reference to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s similarly criticized explanations for why Facebook did not curb accounts owned by Russian operatives who ran Facebook campaigns which disseminated misleading information and sought to sow distrust for the American electoral process during the 2016 presidential election cycle.

Another user summed the matter up this way:

Dorsey’s explanation would likely not be well received by a group of law professors who specialize in free-speech issues. In a recent court filing, the First Amendment scholars, who hail from institutions like Rutgers University and the University of Chicago Law School, said Jones’s content propagated “absurd conspiracy theories” and urged a federal judge considering a lawsuit against him not to allow him to cite First Amendment protections in a bid to continue to publish and distribute his material via social media platforms.

“False speech does not serve the public interest the way that true speech does,” the scholars wrote. “And indeed, there is no constitutional value in false statements of fact.”

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