Few sites must be more symptomatic of the problems of the post-truth era than Twitter. However, in an interview with CNN, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has defended controversial aspects of the social media company’s policy while responding to charges of political bias and leaving fake news to fester.
Speaking to Brian Stelter, the host of talk show Reliable Sources on Sunday morning, Dorsey conceded that Twitter hadn’t fully fleshed out its policy on how to tackle fake news. However, he said that Twitter workers were not “arbiters of truth” and so hesitated to take the “dangerous” step of entirely removing false content.
Despite public criticism of recent tweets made by right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his network InfoWars, Twitter dragged its heels in suspending them. Dorsey said that this was because Twitter could not afford to spend “hours and hours and hours” looking for offending content.
He explained that Twitter sought to be “consistent” with an enforcement policy that could otherwise change – and so, he believed, could endanger Twitter users’ trust – as company views fluctuated.
He also battered away claims, including from President Trump, that Twitter tried to quieten conservative voices. Dorsey conceded that Twitter’s company stance was “more left-leaning”, but this did not influence policy. “We need to remove all bias from how we act,” he said.