We can write about Twitter, we can stay on Twitter, but we can’t expect anything from Twitter

The growing stream of reporting on and data about fake news, misinformation, partisan content, and news literacy is hard to keep up with. This weekly roundup offers the highlights of what you might have missed.

Are you still having fun? Brief recap of why Alex Jones and Infowars are bad and gross. Infowars is a conspiracy-theory-driven website that publishes many fake stories and also sells a ton of overpriced and ineffective nutritional supplements. (It has also, over the years, ripped off thousands of pieces of content not just from Russia Today but also from mainstream news organizations like The Washington Post, The New York Times, BuzzFeed, and CNN.) Some of the conspiracy theories that Jones has propagated on the site and his daily radio show: That the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax (Sandy Hook parents are suing Jones for claiming that their murdered children were crisis actors); that Continue reading "We can write about Twitter, we can stay on Twitter, but we can’t expect anything from Twitter"

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to Sean Hannity: ‘We Do Not Shadow Ban According to Political Ideology’

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey told Fox News’s Sean Hannity on the latter’s radio show Wednesday that Twitter does not shadow ban people based on their political beliefs. “You have decided not to ban Alex Jones, in his particular case your argument was he hasn’t violated your rules but I think this is far more complicated than I think some people might understand,” Hannity began. “This is definitely not easy… but we’re trying to approach this with a very simple principle which is how do we earn more trust?” Dorsey replied. “We haven’t done a great job of [communication]… in the past, we’re trying to communicate a lot more in a clear and straightforward way, but there’s a lot of nuance in everything that we’re facing,” he added. “Has Twitter ever been involved in shadow banning?” Hannity asked directly. “We do not shadow ban according to political ideology Continue reading "Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to Sean Hannity: ‘We Do Not Shadow Ban According to Political Ideology’"

Twitter Users Criticize Jack Dorsey for Statement About Not Suspending Alex Jones

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey put out a statement tonight defending the social media platform’s decision not to ban Alex Jones, and a lot of users weren’t happy. Jones, the notorious conspiracy theorist currently facing lawsuits from a number of Sandy Hook families, was kicked off multiple other platforms and has subsequently decried being “censored,” but Twitter has not yet followed suit. Dorsey said that Jones hasn’t violated the rules and argued, “Accounts like Jones’ can often sensationalize issues and spread unsubstantiated rumors, so it’s critical journalists document, validate, and refute such information directly so people can form their own opinions. This is what serves the public conversation best.” A lot of Twitter users criticized his statement for not sufficiently addressing concerns surrounding Jones:

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Defends Giving Alex Jones a Platform: ‘He Hasn’t Violated Our Rules’

After two days of nonstop news coverage on all the social media sites that have banned or partially banned content from Infowars, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey defended keeping Alex Jones on the platform by saying that “he hasn’t violated our rules.” “We didn’t suspend Alex Jones or Infowars yesterday,” Dorsey wrote on Tuesday night. “We know that’s hard for many but the reason is simple: he hasn’t violated our rules.” In a lengthy Twitter thread, Dorsey went on to try and make peace with those who want Jones — who is America’s most famous conspiracy theorist — off of Twitter by clarifying that he will be held “to the same standard we hold to every account” to. “We’ll enforce if he does. And we’ll continue to promote a healthy conversational environment by ensuring tweets aren’t artificially amplified,” he added. Dorsey was heavily pressured today and on Monday to Continue reading "Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Defends Giving Alex Jones a Platform: ‘He Hasn’t Violated Our Rules’"

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Calls Out Trump After YouTube Shooting: ‘Beyond Time’ for Thoughts and Prayers

Donald Trump is getting called out for his position on guns again, this time by the man who runs his favorite communications platform in the whole world. After YouTube’s headquarters came under attack by a shooter yesterday, the president issued a statement expressing sympathy for the victims and thanks to law enforcement. However, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey responded to Trump by saying its not enough, and its time to take serious policy action after all of the recent gun violence America has seen in the last few months. Dorsey included a link to the March for Our Lives’ policy platform, which contains several suggestions Continue reading "Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Calls Out Trump After YouTube Shooting: ‘Beyond Time’ for Thoughts and Prayers"

It’s Finally Happened! Twitter Officially Expands the Character Limit to 280

Can you hear that? Its the quaking fear coming from whatever White House intern is on Twitter detail, tasked with trying to keep President Donald Trump busy during those early morning hours. The social media site has just announced that they are officially upping their character count to 280, twice the previous limit. It’s happening! No more shortening of the word “really” to “rly.” No more “u” instead of “you.” No more mad scrambles to those web apps that shorten web links. OK, we’ll probably still do all of those things, but we’ll also be able to bore people with lengthier anecdotes as we do them. This Continue reading "It’s Finally Happened! Twitter Officially Expands the Character Limit to 280"

Twitter CEO Apologizes for ‘Automated’ Promotion of White Supremacist Ad

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey apologized today after a report revealed that a white supremacist ad was being promoted on the social networking site. Vice’s Motherboard reported yesterday on how someone came across the following promoted ad on Twitter: Ariana Lenarsky told Motherboard, “Twitter normalized, promoted, and profited off of Nazi white supremacy propaganda. I should not have to explain to Twitter why promoting Nazi propaganda on their website is a dangerous and immoral thing to do.” A spokesperson for Twitter told Motherboard yesterday that “it looks like the screenshot in that tweet is either old or photoshopped.” That, well, pissed off Lenarsky: