Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey reportedly overruled staff on decision to ban Alex Jones

Getty ImagesJack Dorsey.
  • Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has personally made decisions about whether some high-profile Twitter accounts were booted or not from the social network, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal.
  • Dorsey has at times overruled his subordinates, and it was he who decided to keep Alex Jones, the controversial conservative pundit on the platform last month after staff had decided to ban him, the newspaper reported.
  • Twitter spokespeople called claims that Dorsey ever overruled staff or unilaterally made decisions on these matters “totally false.”

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey overruled a decision made by his staff last month to ban Alex Jones, the conservative pundit and conspiracy theorist, from the social network, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

Dorsey decided that Jones’ account would remain on Twitter though his staff wanted to follow moves made by Google’s YouTube and Facebook and ban him from their service. Dorsey has made unilateral decisions on whether Twitter accounts belonging to other high-profile people –accused of violating the site’s terms of service — remained on the site or were removed, according to the Journal’s story.

Among them were alt-right leader Richard Spencer. The Journal reported that Spencer was accused by Twitter’s trust-and-safety team of operating too many accounts and wanted him kicked off, but Dorsey decided that though his accounts would be reduced to one, he would remain on the site.

The claims made in the Journal’s story are “totally false,” according to a statement issued by Twitter spokespeople to the Journal.

Exactly who makes decisons regarding content at the social networks is of particular importance this week. On Wednesday, representatives from Facebook and Twitter, including Dorsey, are expected to appear first before the Senate Intelligence Committee and later the House Commerce Committee. Lawmakers will almost certainly query them about what kind of content is allowed on their sites, how those decisions are made, and by whom.

Political conservatives have accused the social networks of trying to silence right-wing voices and favouring those on the left. President Donald Trump made similar claims the past week that included accusing Google of rigging search results to lower content from conservatives down in the search rankings and give preferential treatment to stories in the press that cast his administration in a negative light.

Little evidence supporting these claims has been presented, but during the hearings on Capitol Hill later this week lawmakers will no doubt try to learn whether or not the top social networks make politically biased decisions.

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