Twitter CEO on decision not to ban Alex Jones: 'He hasn't violated our rules'

Twitter CEO on decision not to ban Alex Jones: 'He hasn't violated our rules'
© Courtesy of Alex Jones

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Tuesday explained the site’s decision not to suspend conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, breaking with several other top tech companies.

In recent days, Jones and his website, Infowars, have been banned or otherwise punished by YouTube, Spotify, Apple, Facebook and others.

In a series of tweets, Dorsey said Jones had not violated Twitter rules.

“We didn’t suspend Alex Jones or Infowars yesterday,” he wrote. “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.”

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He wrote that the company has “been terrible at explaining our decisions in the past,” and said that Twitter would hold Jones “to the same standard we hold to every account” rather than “taking one-off actions to make us feel good in the short term.”

“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,” Dorsey wrote. “That’s not us.”

Twitter has faced significant user criticism for not punishing accounts spreading neo-Nazi, white supremacist and other “alt-right” views.

The companies that punished Jones said they did so because he violated their policies on hate speech. Jones, the founder of Infowars, is known for spreading far-right conspiracy theories, including saying that the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting was a hoax.

Dorsey also said in his tweet thread that it is the responsibility of journalists to “document, validate, and refute” the information that “accounts like Jones’” often spread.

“This is what serves the public conversation best,” he said.