The social network announced Tuesday that it would not ban Alex Jones or InfoWars from the site, noting that neither are currently in violation of its rules.
But in case the service’s position was not entirely clear, Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey further shed light on its stance via a series of tweets late Tuesday.
Noting that he knows it’s “hard for many” that Twitter hasn’t suspended Alex Jones or InfoWars, Dorsey explained that “the reason is simple: he hasn’t violated our rules.” Nevertheless, he said that Twitter will “enforce if he does” and will “continue to promote a healthy conversational environment by ensuring that tweets aren’t artificially amplified.”
Dorsey noted that the site will “hold Jones to the same standard we hold to every account, not taking one-off actions to make us feel good in the short term, and adding fuel to new conspiracy theories.” He highlighted the need to adhere to Twitter’s own rules rather than “succumbing” and “reacting” to outside pressure, as that would lead Twitter to becoming a service that’s “constructed by our personal views that can swing in any direction.”
While the social network has already been the recipient of criticism for choosing not to suspend Jones, Dorsey’s last tweet in particular drew additional ire. Dorsey suggested that although “accounts like Jones’ can often sensationalize issues and spread unsubstantiated rumors,” it is the responsibility of journalists to validate his claims “so people can form their own opinions.”
“This is what serves the public conversation best,” he added.
To which New York Times technology reporter Cecilia Kang replied, “What is it that you think journalists do? Spend all day combing Twitter to fact check Alex Jones? That’s good for Twitter but not for democracy. There’s a bigger world out there, @Jack”
Twitter has repeatedly come under fire for failing to stop bullying and abuse among its users and refusing to ban some users while seemingly unfairly blocking others.