Twitter CEO Dorsey explains ignoring Infowars' rules violations
Speaking to CNN, Dorsey says Twitter didn't take action against Alex Jones until others pointed out bad behavior.
Ian SherrContributor and Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. As an editor at large at CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
It turns out, the media did. Jack Dorsey, Twitter's CEO, told CNN in an interview Sunday that the work that network and other reporters did digging up instances where Jones and his Infowars broke the company's rules ultimately helped lead to his ban.
Until those reports started coming in, Twitter hadn't received reports "that we felt we could take action on that violated our terms of service," he said. "As we receive reports, we take action."
Watch this: Twitter's Jack Dorsey speaks up on Alex Jones, EU cracks down on online extremism
Dorsey saying Twitter doesn't proactively police its service much isn't particularly new -- Facebook, YouTube and Twitter all say they rely heavily on us, the users, to point out bad behavior. But it's a reminder that even at high-profile moments, such as after Apple, Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, Stitcher and others had banned Jones from their services for bad behavior, Twitter still didn't devote resources to keeping an eye on a user who has a history of attacking traumatized victims of mass shootings, and their families.
Dorsey told CNN Sunday that it was a matter of time, energy and money. "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," he said. (Twitter, meanwhile, posted $133 million in adjusted profits for the three months ended June 30.) "I mean, hours and hours and hours of looking through video content."
President Donald Trump on Saturday tweeted about the issue, arguing that social media companies are "closing down the opinions" of conservatives.
"They are closing down the opinions of many people on the RIGHT, while at the same time doing nothing to others," he tweeted. "Speaking loudly and clearly for the Trump Administration, we won't let that happen."
Jones' suspension from Twitter will likely lift by Tuesday evening.