Holocaust Denial Not a Violation of Misinformation Policy, Twitter Boss Tells Skeptical Senate Committee
Twitter boss Jack Dorsey sowed further confusion over the social media platform’s Holocaust denial policy during an angry grilling at the hands of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on Wednesday.
Facing questioning from Republican senators who alleged that Twitter was censoring information from conservative outlets while permitting posts that deny the fact of the Holocaust, Dorsey appeared to backtrack on a statement issued by his company on Oct. 15, when a spokesperson for Twitter had condemned “antisemitism and hateful conduct,” emphasizing, “We also have a robust ‘glorification of violence’ policy in place and take action against content that glorifies or praises historical acts of violence and genocide, including the Holocaust.”
But at Wednesday’s hearing, Dorsey said that Twitter did not “have a policy against misinformation.”
He explained: “We have a policy against misinformation in three categories. That is all we have policy on for misleading information.”
He then added that tweets denying the Holocaust could be removed if they were considered to incite violence.
Dorsey’s answer infuriated Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), who countered by invoking Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s constant use of Twitter to engage in Holocaust denial.
“It’s strange to me that you’ve flagged tweets from the president [of the United States] but haven’t hidden the ayatollah’s tweets on Holocaust denial or calls to wipe Israel off the map,” Gardner said. “Millions of people died and that’s not a violation of Twitter?”
Responded Dorsey: “It’s misleading information, but we don’t have a policy against that type of misleading information.”
Also testifying before the committee were Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet, which includes Google.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) charged during the proceedings that Google, Facebook and Twitter posed “the single greatest threat to free speech in America.”
Cruz took particular aim at Twitter, calling the company’s conduct the “most egregious.”
Addressing the Twitter founder, Cruz asked: “Mr. Dorsey, who the hell elected you and put you in charge of what the media are allowed to report and what the American people are allowed to hear?”