Amid accusations that his company “shadow bans” conservatives, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admitted over the weekend his platform has a “left-leaning” editorial bias.
Dorsey’s admission comes at a time when social media platforms are being scrutinized for how they punish users who violate their terms of service. At the same time, Facebook, Twitter, and Google have faced accusations of discrimination against conservative users and right-leaning news outlets.
What did Dorsey say?
Speaking with CNN’s Brian Stelter in a softball interview, Dorsey addressed Twitter’s shadow banning controversy after the platform was accused of minimizing, or hiding altogether, conservative voices, including sitting members of Congress.
“I think a lot of the statements behind the statements of the question behind the question is — look ‘shadow banning’ is a very widely defined term. There’s not one single definition,” Dorsey said.
He explained that Twitter’s definition of “shadow banning” is “hiding tweets from everyone without that person [who published the tweet] knowing about it.” But he denied “doing something behind political ideology or viewpoints,” claiming that’s the “real question behind the question.”
“We are not — period. We do not look at content with regards to political viewpoint or ideology. We look at behavior,” he said.
Later in the interview, which is set to air in its entirety on Sunday, Dorsey said it is paramount that Twitter’s editorial decisions are transparent.
“We need to constantly show that we are not adding our own bias, which I fully admit is left — more left-leaning,” he said. “We need to remove all bias from how we act and our policies and our enforcement and our tools.”
"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