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Over the past year on Twitter, users have rallied around one sentiment to fix the platform, “Ban the Nazis, Jack,” pushing Twitter’s CEO to remove people who routinely use hate speech on the site. But it appears that Dorsey personally intervened to keep a man who’s been called a Nazi on the platform, according to a new report.
The Wall Street Journal says that as the debate swirled around Alex Jones, the notorious InfoWars host, and whether he should have platforms online, Dorsey made sure that Jones was allowed to stay on Twitter.
Last month, after Twitter’s controversial decision to allow far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to remain on its platform, Mr. Dorsey told one person that he had overruled a decision by his staff to kick Mr. Jones off, according to a person familiar with the discussion. Twitter disputes that account and says Mr. Dorsey wasn’t involved in those discussions.
Jones instead got a one-week suspension, in stark contrast to the behavior of nearly every other tech company on the planet. But it wasn’t just Jones whom Dorsey interceded to keep on his platform. A notorious neo-Nazi also got Dorsey’s backing in the fight over censorship.
A similar chain of events unfolded in November 2016, when the firm’s trust and safety team kicked alt-right provocateur Richard Spencer off the platform, saying he was operating too many accounts. Mr. Dorsey, who wasn’t involved in the initial discussions, told his team that Mr. Spencer should be allowed to keep one account and stay on the site, according to a person directly involved in the discussions.
Twitter users responded to the news of Dorsey coming to the defense of far-right personalities with anger and accusations that he’s a sympathizer of white supremacists and fringe conspiracy theorists.
It took @jack and Twitter exactly 10 seconds to ban me for 12 hours for calling @AnnCoulter a name after she spent days harassing the McCain family with impunity. @jack is an alt right fascist. pic.twitter.com/GMFOiBGTdz
— Marley Ducati (@MarleyDucati) September 3, 2018
Are you surprised? I'm not. Either @jack is a fellow-traveler with the alt right, or Russia has something on him.
— Steve Bannon's Liver (@amrourk) September 3, 2018
— Joanna Simkin (@JoannaSimkin) September 3, 2018
Read the Wall Street Journal‘s report here.
David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]