Aug 15, 2018

Twitter CEO speaks out on 7-day suspension of Alex Jones

Jack Dorsey, Co-founder and CEO of Twitter. Photo: Rolf Vennenbernd/picture alliance via Getty Images

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Wednesday said he didn't know whether the social media platform's 7-day suspension of far-right talk-show host Alex Jones would "impact and change” Jones' behavior.

Why it matters: Twitter’s move came more than a week after companies, including Apple, Facebook and Youtube, banned Jones from their platforms and removed his content. The companies’ actions had intensified mounting debate over the role of tech companies in policing controversial content on their platforms, while upholding the principle of free speech.

The details: The Infowars host and conspiracy theorist’s account got blocked on Tuesday after he tweeted a link to content encouraging violence, a violation of Twitter’s rules. The company has barred some people from its platform, but Dorsey, in an interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt, said: “Whether it works within this case to change some of those behaviors and change some of those actions, I don't know. But this is consistent with how we enforce."

  • Twitter was one of the last major platforms not to promptly ban Jones amid widespread calls to do. Dorsey defended the 7-day “timeout,” telling NBC News: “We can’t build a service that is subjective just to the whims of what we personally believe."

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 857,487 — Total deaths: 42,107 — Total recoveries: 178,034.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 188,172 — Total deaths: 3,873 — Total recoveries: 7,024.
  3. Business updates: Should you pay your rent or mortgage during the coronavirus pandemic? Find out if you are protected under the CARES Act.
  4. Public health updates: More than 400 long-term care facilities across the U.S. report patients with coronavirus — Older adults and people with underlying health conditions are more at risk, new data shows.
  5. Federal government latest: President Trump said the next two weeks would be "very painful," with projections indicating the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans.
  6. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Captain of nuclear aircraft carrier docked in Guam pleaded with the U.S. Navy for more resources after more than 100 members of his crew tested positive.
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World coronavirus updates: UN warns of recession with "no parallel" to recent past

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus pandemic is the "greatest test" the world has faced together since the formation of the United Nations just after the Second World War ended in 1945, UN chief António Guterres said Tuesday.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases surged past 856,000 and the death toll exceeded 42,000 Tuesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy reported more than 12,000 deaths.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

White House projects 100,000 to 240,000 U.S. coronavirus deaths

President Trump said at a press briefing on Tuesday that the next two weeks in the U.S. will be "very painful" and that he wants "every American to be prepared for the days that lie ahead," before giving way to Deborah Birx to explain the models informing the White House's new guidance on the coronavirus.

Why it matters: It's a somber new tone from the president that comes after his medical advisers showed him data projecting that the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans — even with strict social distancing guidelines in place.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health