Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey raised eyebrows Wednesday by appearing on Fox News host Sean Hannity’s radio show to defend his platform’s decision to not take action against the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
“This is probably the last thing you want to do, coming on to my radio show,” Hannity said at the top of the interview.
Dorsey thanked Hannity for the opportunity to explain his thinking to the host’s millions of listeners. “People need to see the why of our actions or inactions,” he said.
On Tuesday, Dorsey explained in a series of tweets why the platform did not move to ban or restrict Jones from using the service. “If we succumb and simply react to outside pressure, rather than straightforward principles we enforce (and evolve) impartially regardless of political viewpoints, we become a service that’s constructed by our personal views that can swing in any direction,” he wrote in part. “That’s not us.”
Facebook, Apple, YouTube and Spotify have all deleted content from Jones in recent days. Hannity said that Facebook and YouTube are “in hiding.”
Hannity asked Dorsey to explain some of the company’s shortcomings. “We haven’t done a great job of communicating our principles, the guidelines that help us make the decisions in the first place,” he said.
The conservative radio host also asked Dorsey how Twitter would handle threats from users, such as a tweet saying, “I wish somebody would just punch Hannity in the face.”
Dorsey denied that Twitter “shadow bans” users based on politics, as has been asserted by conservatives, including the president of the United States, who had said the practice would be investigated. “We do not shadow ban according to political ideology or viewpoint or content,” he said. “Period.”
Hannity said he’s sure that some people have pressured Twitter to remove his content, but Dorsey said that hasn’t been the case.
The host closed the interview by offering up his television show to Dorsey in the future.