Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is taking heat for not banning Alex Jones and InfoWars, unlike the other large tech companies that have suspended or removed the peddlers of right-wing conspiracy theories.
Among those bringing the heat was tech journalist Kara Swisher, who wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times: “Twitter is doubling down on the same squishy point of view that has allowed too much of it to become a cesspool over the last several years, and it has little intention of truly cleaning up.”
Apple and Google haven’t completely banned Alex Jones and InfoWars, either.
Apple, which earlier this week took down five of six InfoWars podcasts from iTunes, is keeping the InfoWars app in its App Store. And it’s using the same rationale as Dorsey: It says InfoWars hasn’t broken its rules.
“We strongly support all points of view being represented on the App Store, as long as the apps are respectful to users with differing opinions, and follow our clear guidelines, ensuring the App Store is a safe marketplace for all,” Apple told BuzzFeed. “We continue to monitor apps for violations of our guidelines and if we find content that violates our guidelines and is harmful to users we will remove those apps from the store as we have done previously.”
YouTube also removed InfoWars channels this week, but on its parent company Google’s app store, the InfoWars app is trending.
“If an app violates our policies, we take action,” a Google spokesman told the New York Times.
Swisher says Twitter needs to make its values clear: “Values would require that Twitter make tough calls on high-profile and obviously malevolent figures, including tossing them off as a signal of its intent to keep it civil.”
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Instead, Twitter and the other companies are defending not banning Jones — a right-wing media personality who called the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, a hoax, until he was sued by parents of the dead children.
The tech companies’ defense appears to be an effort to show conservatives they are not too liberal.
Dorsey, for example, talked to Fox News’ Sean Hannity Wednesday about Jones and InfoWars — and insisted that Twitter doesn’t “shadow ban” conservatives, after President Donald Trump recently accused Twitter of doing so. Shadow banning is when online services downgrade a user’s post or content to limit its audience without informing that user. (Dorsey will be talking to NBC and CNN sometime soon, too, according to Axios.)
Likewise, Facebook said last month it would not be banning InfoWars and defended its right to free speech, saying that pages “on the left” also put out “fake news.” Then, hours after Apple removed the InfoWars podcasts late Sunday, Facebook said it took down InfoWars pages for violating the social network’s community standards.
Will the companies forever have moving goalposts when it comes to their standards?
“These companies have the right to take down content,” said David Greene, senior staff attorney and civil liberties director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation on Thursday. “I want them to exercise their rights within a human rights framework.”
San Francisco-based EFF, along with ACLU of Northern California, Center of Democracy & Technology and others, in May released the Santa Clara Principles, a set of standards for tech companies to consider as they moderate content. They call for companies to be more transparent as they face increasing calls to remove content, and as the companies face pressure from all sides when they do. The standards urge companies to make sure their criteria are clear and understandable, that their decisions are public, and that they allow for due process and provide an appeal system for removals, Greene said.
>Related Articlesa blog post that it considers the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) when it makes decisions: “The core concept here is whether a particular restriction of speech is necessary to prevent harm. Short of that, the ICCPR holds that speech should be allowed.”
Source : https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/08/09/twitter-takes-heat-over-alex-jones-but-infowars-remains-in-apple-and-google-app-stores/Thanks you for read my article Twitter Takes Heat Over Alex Jones, But InfoWars Remains In Apple And Google App Stores