Twitter boss Jack Dorsey has defended his company’s refusal to take down Donald Trump’s post against Representative Ilhan Omar as she called her on 23 April, The Washington Post reports. The two discussed the explosive video tweeted by the US President that featured Omar speaking about the 9/11 terror attacks and Islamophobia as well as footage of the turmoil on the day of the tragedy.
WE WILL NEVER FORGET! pic.twitter.com/VxrGFRFeJM— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2019
Rep. Omar, who complained about a flood of threats to her life following the publication, is said to have pressed Dorsey to explain, why the clip was not deleted, The Washington Post reports, citing a source familiar with the content of their conversation. According to another insider, Dorsey insisted that Trump’s tweet didn’t violate Twitter’s rules, noting that the post was shared far beyond his platform. At the same time, the Twitter boss is said to have admitted that his platform should do more about hate speech and harassment spread via it.
While the White House and Omar’s office remained tight-lipped on the matter, Twitter confirmed that their CEO phoned the politician. It revealed that Dorsey “emphasized that death threats, incitement to violence, and hateful conduct are not allowed on Twitter.”
“We’ve significantly invested in technology to proactively surface this type of content and will continue to focus on reducing the burden on the individual being targeted. Our team has also consistently been in touch with Rep. Omar’s office," the company’s statement, cited by The Washington Post reads.
The revelation comes shortly after Dorsey’s flying to Washington where he met the US President and one of the world’s most popular Twitter users. Trump shared the sneak peek from the meeting nowhere else but on Twitter.
Great meeting this afternoon at the @WhiteHouse with @Jack from @Twitter. Lots of subjects discussed regarding their platform, and the world of social media in general. Look forward to keeping an open dialogue! pic.twitter.com/QnZi579eFb— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 23, 2019
Although the president himself hardly gave any details about the content of their conversation, Reuters reported citing a person briefed on the matter, that Trump spent a significant time questioning Dorsey about why he has lost some Twitter followers. Earlier, Trump suggested Twitter was biased against him without providing evidence, according to Reuters. He wrote on Twitter that the company does not "treat me well as a Republican. Very discriminatory."
Over the recent months, Twitter as well as another social media giant Facebook have been publically criticised and consistently pressured by the US government to crackdown on foreign actors carrying out influence campaigns. Both companies have shutdown numerous accounts and pages but have been routinely criticized by organizations for censoring users.