Jack Dorsey’s admission to bias raises questions on the ethics of a medium that is supposed to be a neutral platform, censoring perhaps extreme cases like pornography, substance abuse, terrorism, etc. Why should Twitter, the most popular microblogging platform for breaking news, be blocking political views, whatever be the ideological tilt in them?
New Delhi: The CEO of the social media platform, Jack Dorsey, has admitted to the anti-right-wing views of his team in a recent interview with CNN. “We need to constantly show that we are not adding our own bias, which I fully admit is ... is more left-leaning," he said.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said that he "fully admits " Twitter employees share a largely left-leaning bias after facing accusations that conservatives are discriminated against on the social media platform." https://t.co/WVamIaGE8N— Sanjay Bragta (@SanjayBragta) August 20, 2018
Though Dorsey maintained that the company only polices the behaviour of Twitter users rather than content, that does not seem to be the case. The website has often been criticised for allegedly "shadow-banning" its conservative users, where the content of the user is blocked from the site without his/her knowledge.
Twitter’s Indian users felt the burn of the ‘new guidelines’ in 2016 when many prominent Twitter handles got suspended after mocking the Aam Aadmi Party and Arvind Kejriwal. Even ABVP could not escape Twitter’s wrath as reportedly 7 accounts associated with the organisation were suspended.
Several other verified handles raised the question of ethics.
At some point @jack needs to understand that bias is not a greater sin than disinformation. Truth might reinforce a bias, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be prioritized over lies that appear to neutralize bias. https://t.co/pxlZS1NkdK— Elizabeth Spiers (@espiers) August 20, 2018
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey told CNN the company is considering hiding follower counts and like counts on tweets. Undoubtedly this is because the Trump train is too popular and everyone sees how well our messages and activists resonate with people.— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) August 19, 2018
Even apolitical users made a mockery of Dorsey’s stand.
While Twitter may still be teetering to walk the tightrope between freedom of speech and censorship, Dorsey stresses on neutrality saying, "But the real question behind the question is, are we doing something according to political ideology or viewpoints? And we are not. Period.”
Ironically, he faces a possible subpoena from the House Energy and Commerce Committee over allegations of discrimination against conservatives on the platform. Dorsey is also expected to testify next month before the Senate Intelligence Committee on the issue of Russia’s election interference.
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Last Updated Aug 20, 2018, 6:01 PM IST