The Slatest

Jack Dorsey Called Rep. Omar to Explain Why Twitter Won’t Take Down the 9/11 Video Trump Tweeted Out of Her

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey during a town hall meeting with college students in New Delhi on Nov. 12, 2018.
Jack Dorsey and Twitter continually promise to do better, but never really deliver.
PRAKASH SINGH/Getty Images

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey called Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar earlier this week, the Washington Post reports, to discuss a recent tweet by President Trump that resulted in the Muslim congresswoman receiving death threats. The Tuesday call comes two weeks after the president of the United States tweeted out a video that spliced together out of context comments made by Omar about 9/11 with video of the Twin Towers that day. The April 12 video amounted to incitement and many read Trump’s message loud and clear, bombarding the first-term congresswoman with death threats.

“Omar pressed Dorsey to explain why Twitter didn’t remove Trump’s tweet outright,” sources told the Post, to which “Dorsey said that the president’s tweet didn’t violate the company’s rules.” According to the Post, “Dorsey also pointed to the fact that the tweet and video already had been viewed and shared far beyond the site.” Dorsey, like Twitter often does, went on to say it’s complicated, but it’s trying, will do better, yada yada.

In other not at all unrelated news, Vice’s Motherboard reported Thursday, that during an all-hands meeting at Twitter last month, an employee working on artificial intelligence issues, when fielding a question about hate content, explained why the site’s algorithms had been able to effectively filter out ISIS propaganda but hadn’t been able to eradicate white supremacist speech on the platform. The employee went on to explain that “Twitter hasn’t taken the same aggressive approach to white supremacist content because the collateral accounts that are impacted can, in some instances, be Republican politicians,” according to Motherboard. “The employee argued that, on a technical level, content from Republican politicians could get swept up by algorithms aggressively removing white supremacist material.”