Twitter founder Jack Dorsey has explained why he will not be following the lead of his social media counterparts in banning right-wing shock jock Alex Jones, declaring that he was guided by principles not pressure. It was a thinly veiled dig at Facebook and YouTube, which took action against Jones on Monday only after Apple chose to scrub his podcasts from iTunes on the grounds that they included hate speech.
Dorsey appeared to take a swipe at the tech platforms that banned Jones and said Twitter refused to take "one-off actions to make us feel good" or make decisions that could ultimately fuel "new conspiracy theories".
Meanwhile, YouTube also got in on the disciplinary action, removing some of Jones' videos and suspending his capacity to broadcast live for a considerable 90-day period. "We'll enforce if he does", Dorsey tweeted. According to Colbert, Pinterest has even pulled Jones's pages ("Bad news if you were planning an autumn wedding with the theme "gay frog chemtrails'", Colbert said) leaving Twitter as the sole social media site giving Jones a platform". Jones was sued for defamation in three separate lawsuits by families who had children die in the Sandy Hook massacre in 2011, a shooting that Jones repeatedly said didn't actually happen.
The Twitter CEO additionally called on journalists to document, validate and refute information on Jones' account which can "sensationalize issues" and "spread substantiated rumours".
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Apple removed five of Jones' six Infowars podcasts from the Podcasts app Sunday night.
YouTube on Monday deleted the Alex Jones Channel from its platform for violating its community guidelines. "We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions".
In the same thread, Dorsey said Twitter in the past has "been awful at explaining our decisions" but that they're "fixing that".
He added that to "succumb and simply react" is "not us".
"Let's talk about the elephant in the room, the martyrdom of old Tuck Buckford at the hands of Silicon Valley snow boys and soy flakes", said Colbert as Buckford.