Twitter CEO Admits to ‘Left-Leaning’ Bias, Touts Efforts Not to Add to It

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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Saturday addressed the controversy around shadow-banning and combating conspiracy theories on the platform by admitting the company’s left-leaning bias.

Speaking to CNN’s Brian Stelter, Dorsey said the company does not regulate user content based on viewpoints, despite criticism from President Donald Trump and others. Dorsey did admit the company views things from the left, and he wants to address bias on the site with that in mind.

"We need to constantly show that we are not adding our own bias, which I fully admit is left, is more left-leaning," he said. "I think it's important to articulate our bias and to share it with people so that people understand us, but we need to remove all bias from how we act and our policies and our enforcement."

A recent controversy over shadow-banning, which is the practice of systematically reducing the visibility of certain users’ posts, has dogged Twitter while Dorsey has tried to convince conservatives the site's policies are not biased. Twitter has denied allegations of shadow-banning according to the company's definition of the term: "deliberately making someone’s content undiscoverable to everyone except the person who posted it, unbeknownst to the original poster."

Dorsey described the practice in much the same way Saturday and again said Twitter does not do it.

Shadow-banning is "if someone puts out a tweet, hiding that tweet from everyone without that person who tweeted it knowing about it," Dorsey said. "But the real question behind the question is, are we doing something according to political ideology or viewpoints? And we are not, period. We do not look at content with regards to political viewpoint or ideology."

In addition, the site has taken criticism from multiple fronts for declining to kick off far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his site InfoWars but then suspending him.

Dorsey said Jones was suspended not for his political views but for inciting violence.

"We were getting a number of reports around the tweet and the Periscope that the content was inciting violence, which is against our terms of service, and we took action," Dorsey said.

Unlike on Twitter, Jones’ content was removed from Facebook, Apple, and YouTube earlier this month.

Paul Crookston

Paul Crookston   Email Paul | Full Bio | RSS
Paul Crookston is the deputy war room director at the Washington Free Beacon. He was previously a Collegiate Network fellow at National Review. A 2016 graduate of Gordon College in Wenham, Mass., he served as the managing editor of the Tartan campus newspaper. He is originally from Tampa, Fla., but he still roots for Dad’s Ohio teams. His Twitter handle is @P_Crookston. He can be reached at crookston@freebeacon.com.

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