Dorsey says Twitter isn’t the arbiter of truth, doesn’t ban users for their views
Twiter Inc. is working to clean up its sometimes toxic atmosphere, Chief Executive Jack Dorsey said Sunday, although he did not commit to a timetable or specific policy changes.
Speaking to CNN’s Brian Stelter in an interview that aired Sunday, Dorsey said Twitter TWTR, -0.30% does not ban users for their political viewpoints, only for violations of the service’s rules — and it relies on its users to report those violations.
“We need to constantly show that we are not adding our own bias, which I fully admit is … more left-leaning,” Dorsey said. “But the real question behind the question is, are we doing something according to political ideology or viewpoints? And we are not. Period.”
Twitter came under fire recently for not suspending the account of right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, even though companies such as Apple Inc. AAPL, +2.00% , Facebook Inc. FB, -0.52% and Alphabet Inc.’s GOOGL, -0.67% YouTube did block content from Jones and his website, Infowars, citing violations of their terms of service against hate speech, harassment and violent content.
Last week, Twitter blocked Jones from tweeting for seven days, and on Saturday, President Donald Trump slammed social networks for “totally discriminating” against conservatives.
Dorsey said Sunday that Twitter does not proactively police content on the service. “As we receive reports, we take action,” he said.
“People may say you should be a lot more proactive around all the content. And while we could do that, it just requires so many resources,” Dorsey added. As a point of comparison, rival social network Facebook has said it is in the process of adding about 20,000 people to monitor its content. Last month, Twitter posted its third straight quarterly profit.
Dorsey told CNN he was “ready to question everything” to improve Twitter. Among the potential changes are tweaking the way “likes” and follower numbers are shown, and allowing users to follow topics rather than just specific accounts.
“We are aware of some of the silos and how we’re isolating people by only giving them crude tools to follow accounts. We need to broaden our thinking and get more back to an interest-based network,” he said.
Twitter shares are down almost 25% over the past month, but are still up more than 36% year to date. As comparison, the S&P 500 SPX, +0.33% is up almost 2% in the past 30 days and 6% this year.
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