Technology

Twitter’s case for keeping Alex Jones is falling apart

On Tuesday, weighing in on the public pressure to ban Alex Jones and Infowars from Twitter, CEO Jack Dorsey called on journalists for help. “Accounts like Jones’ can often sensationalize issues and spread unsubstantiated rumors,” Dorsey tweeted, “so it’s critical journalists document, validate, and refute such information directly so people can form their own opinions. This is what serves the public conversation best.”

Journalists complained loudly about being asked to perform unpaid content moderation on Twitter’s behalf. But in the spirit of serving the public conversation, CNN’s Oliver Darcy decided to document some of those unsubstantiated rumors of Alex Jones’. Taking a tour of Jones’ Twitter history, he found 20 attacks on the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting, on the survivors of the Parkland shooting, on gay people, on Muslims, and on CNN’s Brian Stelter, whom he called, among other things, the “literal demon spawn of the pit of Hell,” a “smiling leering Devil,” and a “degenerate sack of anti-human trash.”

Yesterday, in a memo to employees that she eventually made public, Twitter’s head of safety, Del Harvey, acknowledged that Jones had sinned in the past. “If he were to post similar accusations today, we would take action on them,” she wrote. “If people report past content of his that includes those types of accusations, we would require him to remove it but would not further penalize him as we work to avoid…

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