Twitter chief Jack Dorsey says he understands why many conservatives are suspicious of Big Tech, given the liberal-leaning culture of Silicon Valley. The CEO, however, says that his company is committed to building a culture at that encompasses all viewpoints.
“I do understand the concern. It is something that we’re aware of,” he said in an interview that aired Wednesday on Fox News Radio’s “Benson & Harf” with Guy Benson and Marie Harf.
Dorsey, who is from St. Louis, noted that his own father is a “fairly conservative” Republican. Within Twitter, the CEO said, he wants an environment where people feel that they can express themselves, regardless of their political leanings.
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“We have folks that are at various points in the political spectrum and they don’t feel comfortable today bringing up certain issues or their viewpoints on certain issues. And I don’t believe that is acceptable,” he said. “It’s not acceptable for us to create a culture like that, especially when we’re creating a service where we are trying to enable to hear from every perspective to try to bring people together across the spectrum to look for different ideologies and encourage them to talk because we think that debate, that critical thinking, the critical questioning is viable and important.”
He added, “I am not stating that we know exactly how to do that today, but we are resolute and committed to figuring it out.”
Accusations of anti-conservative bias continue to swirl around Twitter. This week, for example, Twitter’s campaign to foster healthier conversations on its platform with the aid of academics faced an allegation of anti-Trump bias.
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Last week the social media giant also took heat for the so-called “shadow banning” of certain prominent Republicans, restricting their visibility in search results. Twitter came under fire after Republican Party Chairperson Ronna McDaniel; several conservative Republican congressmen, including Rep. Devin Nunes; and Andrew Surabian, the spokesman for Donald Trump Jr., failed to appear in Twitter’s auto-populated drop-down search results. The omission was first reported by Vice News.
Twitter worked to fix the problem, dubbing it the result of an algorithmic glitch. “The net of this is we need to do a much better job at explaining how our algorithms work. Ideally opening them up so that people can actually see how they work,” Dorsey said in his interview. “We just need to make sure that we’re pushing ourselves to explain exactly how these things work. How we’re making decisions. Where we need to make decisions as humans versus where the algorithms make decisions based on behaviors and signals.”
Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers