Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admitted to CNN's Brian Stelter on Saturday what has been obvious for some time; Twitter employees have "more left-leaning" bias. And while that's not exactly a shocker, Dorsey waxed eloquent about the company's responsibilities, suggesting they operate in a neutral manner and not "according to political ideology or viewpoints."
"We need to constantly show that we are not adding our own bias, which I fully admit is...is more left-leaning," said Dorsey.
"We do not look at content with regards to political viewpoint or ideology," @Jack told me. But he knows some people do not believe him. "I think we need to constantly show that we are not adding our own bias, which I fully admit is left, is more left-leaning," he says... pic.twitter.com/1i8jJunhfz— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) August 18, 2018
Dorsey's CNN appearance was the latest stop in Twitter's rehabilitation road-show after evidence emerged that they had been "shadow banning" conservative users through a variety of methods; including hiding tweets from followers and hiding conservative users from search results.
At the same time, the company has had no qualms about banning people who resonate with conservatives - the latest victim of which was controversial independent journalist Caitlin Johnstone, whose account was 86'd after she tweeted "Friendly public service reminder that John McCain has devoted his entire political career to slaughtering as many human beings as possible at every opportunity, and the world will be improved when he finally dies."
*poof* Johnstone disappeared from the platform.
Hours later - after word of her banishment began going viral and she published an article about what happened, Twitter finally restored Johnstone's account. She's now testing the fences with more of her unfiltered opinions on McCain, and is "Refusing to be bullied into self-censorship."
John McCain is not a hero, he's a warmongering psychopath who deserves all the cancer in the world. Pass it on.— Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) August 18, 2018
Last week, Twitter suspended Alex Jones for seven days over an "offending tweet" - a link to a video in which the InfoWars host told his followers to prepare "battle rifles" to defend themselves amid a conversation about social media censorship .
And recall in July 2016 that gay conservative Milo Yiannapoulos was permanently banned from Twitter for calling Ghost Busters reboot star Leslie Jones "barely literate," and tweeting "If at first you don't succeed (because your work is terrible), play the victim."
Jones complained, and *poof* - Milo was banished forever from the platform. Ghostbusters, meanwhile, lost $70 million and has a user-review score of 26% on Metacritic.
Peter Fonda, meanwhile, suggested in June that Barron Trump, the 12-year-old son of the President, be placed "in a cage with pedophiles" during a national conversation about separating migrant children from their families (which Obama did, a lot). Fonda got to issue a "just kidding, sorry" apology while keeping his (verified) account.
To review: Strongly dislike an "old guard" establishment Senator who sang "Bomb Iran" to warm up a crowd, or be a conservative and call an actress untalented when her movie bombs, and you're gone.
Envision pedophiles raping the president's 12-year-old son in a cage - or suggest that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is a "gash" (which he says is worse than a c*nt) who should be "pilloried in Layfayette Square naked and whipped by passersby while being filmed" - and Twitter has no problem with it.
About that bias...
Are we to assume @Jack has done something about the type of employees caught on James O'Keefe's undercover sting, who were gushing over how they hunt down "redneck" Trump supporters and ensure their tweets don't reach anyone?
"[T]hey just think that no one is engaging with their content, when in reality, no one is seeing it" - admitted former software engineer Abhinav Vadrevu.
Although Twitter presents itself as politically neutral, it’s culture behind closed doors is one of blatant censorship and systematic bias. Watch closely @jack, because you know we are. FULL VIDEO: https://t.co/Tqrd4FBr2v pic.twitter.com/DBOIcEvX8W— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) January 11, 2018
Meanwhile, former "Direct Messaging Engineer" Pranay Singh (who is now a "Site Reliability Engineer") revealed one of the ways they do it:
“Yeah you look for Trump, or America, and you have like five thousand keywords to describe a redneck. Then you look and parse all the messages, all the pictures, and then you look for stuff that matches that stuff.” -Pranay Singh
When asked if the majority of the algorithms are targeted against conservative or liberal users of Twitter, Singh said, “I would say majority of it are for Republicans.”
So if Twitter is full of smug, angry, #resisting millennials - who have shown zero compunction about punishing conservatives by applying vastly disproportionate standards to liberals - how, exactly, is Jack going to ensure this doesn't happen? Some of these people genuinely believe they're in a war right now.
In the full Project Veritas video from the Twitter sting, Twitter Content Review Agent Mo Nora explains that Twitter doesn't have an official written policy that targets conservative speech, but rather they were following "unwritten rules from the top":
“A lot of unwritten rules, and being that we’re in San Francisco, we’re in California, very liberal, a very blue state. You had to be… I mean as a company you can’t really say it because it would make you look bad, but behind closed doors are lots of rules.”
“There was, I would say… Twitter was probably about 90% Anti-Trump, maybe 99% Anti-Trump.”
The full 15-minute video of O'Keefe's Twitter sting can be seen below:
Dorsey will forgive us if we remain skeptical that the anti-conservative sentiment harbored by Twitter employees doesn't translate to their work.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey: "We are not discriminating against any political viewpoint"— Will Westcott (@westland_will) August 19, 2018
Jared Taylor: banned
Ricky Vaughn: banned
Gavin McInnes: banned
Alex Jones: suspended
Sarah Jeong: VERIFIED pic.twitter.com/SQl3IzGYQa