Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s remarks to a Senate committee on Wednesday saying that Holocaust denial is not among the company’s misinformation policies is being harshly criticized.
Dorsey, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai were called to testify before the Senate Commerce Committee regarding Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) started his line of questions with Holocaust denial posts, asking Dorsey if he believed posts denying that the Holocaust happened were misinformation.
When Dorsey replied that he did, Gardner noted that Iran's leader Ayatollah Khamenei had tweets questioning the Holocaust and asked why they had not been taken down. He then asked why Twitter has taken action against some of President Donald Trump's tweets for containing misinformation, but not the Iranian leader's.
Dorsey said that Twitter has misinformation policies for specific categories.
"We don't have a policy against misinformation. We have a policy against misinformation in three categories, which are manipulated media, public health—specifically COVID—and civic integrity, election interference, and voter suppression. That is all we have a policy on for misleading information," Dorsey said.
"So somebody denying the murder of millions of people, or instigating violence against a country as a head of state, is not categorically falling in any of those misinformation categories Twitter has?"
Dorsey replied that Holocaust denial would not fall under Twitter's misinformation policy, but policies surrounding incitement of violence.
"It's misleading information, but we don't have a policy against that type of misleading information," Dorsey said.
It appears Dorsey was referring to how such posts would fall under certain policies the company has. But he may have had his own site's rules wrong.
Twitter announced earlier this month that it would ban posts that deny the Holocaust, Bloomberg reported. The move followed Facebook announcing the same thing just days before Twitter's announcement.
As Bloomberg notes, Twitter's policy doesn't specifically say that Holocaust denial is against its rules, but a spokesperson told the news outlet that "attempts to deny or diminish" events like the Holocaust would be removed for violating its hateful conduct policy.
Dorsey's response to Gardner about Holocaust denial not being among Twitter's misinformation policy was criticized harshly online.