In a move to defend his company’s decision to not ban Alex Jones, Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey explained that Jones did not violate any rules.
Dorsey’s comments echoed an official statement from the company released earlier this week, after the controversial conspiracy theorist and radio host took to Twitter’s livestreaming service Periscope to rail against censorship.
Jones was the subject of a mass takedown by big tech companies on Monday, which began when Apple removed five out of six of his podcasts from the iTunes and the Podcasts apps.
Apple was joined by Facebook, YouTube, Spotify and Pinterest in taking down accounts, pages and content controlled by Jones as the day progressed.
Jones had been hit with multiple warnings from online platforms ahead of the events that occurred Monday. He infamously called the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting a hoax and recently appeared to threaten U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller with violence.
He has also been the subject of much criticism over the perpetuation of fake news. However, none of the companies that have taken Jones’ content offline have thus far cited fake news as the reason for removal; most are instead highlighting breaches of policies on hate speech and harmful content.
Dorsey explained on Wednesday that Twitter would not follow other tech firms to take down Jones’ social media account.
“Truth is we’ve been terrible at explaining our decisions in the past,” he said in a Twitter thread. “We’re fixing that. We’re going to 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.”
The Twitter CEO said that bowing to external pressure to take down Jones’ account would give the message that the platform was “constructed by our personal views that can swing in any direction.”
Twitter has been accused by conservatives — including Jones himself and President Donald Trump — of “shadow banning” Republicans. Shadow banning refers to a practice in which search results are allegedly restricted for certain social media accounts. The company has denied this is the case, but said it was aware some accounts do not automatically populate its search function and that it was looking to resolve the issue.