Twitter CEO personally weighed in on company’s handling of Alex Jones, Richard Spencer accounts: report

Greg Nash

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has at times overruled or chimed in at the last second on decisions regarding controversial accounts on the platform, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

The news outlet reported two separate instances where Dorsey favored keeping far-right personalities on the platform. Dorsey reportedly told one person that he had overruled a decision to kick conspiracy theorist Alex Jones off the platform last month.

The Infowars founder was eventually blocked from tweeting for a week after one of his tweets was deemed to have violated the platform’s rules.

{mosads}The Wall Street Journal reported that Dorsey acted similarly in November 2016, telling staffers that white nationalist leader Richard Spencer should be allowed to keep one account on the site after Twitter’s safety team initially kicked him and his several accounts off the platform.

Twitter told The Wall Street Journal that Dorsey wasn’t involved in the handling of either decision, but declined to make the CEO available for comment. 

“Any suggestion that Jack made or overruled any of these decisions is completely and totally false,” Twitter’s chief legal officer, Vijaya Gadde, told the newspaper in a statement. “Our service can only operate fairly if it’s run through consistent application of our rules, rather than the personal views of any executive, including our CEO.”

Dorsey had also told The Hill in an interview last month that he wasn’t involved in the decision to restrict accounts linked to Jones. Dorsey said he found out about it after the fact through a text from Twitter lead counsel Vijaya Gadde.

“We were getting a number of reports around the tweet and the Periscope that the content was inciting violence, which is against our terms of service, and we took action,” Dorsey said.

Dorsey told The Hill after his company handed out a seven-day suspension to Jones that Twitter’s enforcement actions are aimed at promoting better behavior from users.

“We’re always trying to cultivate more of a learning mindset and help guide people back towards healthier behaviors and healthier public conversation,” Dorsey said.

“We also think it’s important to clarify what our principles are, which we haven’t done a great job of in the past, and we need to take a step back and make sure that we are clearly articulating what those mean and what our objectives are.”

Twitter has faced intense scrutiny in recent months for its lack of action against Jones and other bad actors, particularly after YouTube and Facebook moved to kick Jones off their platforms.

The Journal reported Monday that the company is rolling out new features to address bad behavior on the site, including showing a picture of a tombstone in place of a tweet that has been taken down for violating the platform’s guidelines.

Dorsey will testify before a House committee this week alongside other technology leaders. His appearance will coincide with growing complaints from GOP leaders that they’re victims of censorship on social media.

Updated: 6:45 p.m.

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