The New York Times announced August 1 the hiring of Sarah Jeong to write about technology as a member of the paper’s editorial board. Hours later came revelations from Jeong’s obsessively anti-white and anti-police ravings on Twitter, and a subsequent defense of Jeong’s hiring from the paper. The paper’s hypocrisy and left-wing double standards on racism were all too apparent.
Yet none of that recent controversy penetrated into Saturday’s edition, which featured Cecilia Kang and Kate Conger’s “Inside the Struggle at Twitter Over What Warrants a Ban," regarding the attempted deplatforming of conspiracy-mongering Alex Jones. In fact, the story shows the paper doubling down on its double standards: Do as we say, not as we do.
The Times reporters were invited by Twitter to attend a policy meeting led by chief executive Jack Dorsey. They reported out what they considered the company’s failure to properly deal with the “dehumanizing” tweets from Infowars conspiracist Alex Jones, and egged Twitter on to delete the offensive tweets and perhaps Jones himself from Twitter, similar to how Facebook, YouTube, and Apple speedily removed "The Alex Jones Show" and other InfoWars content from their platforms:
In a rare look inside one of the social media company’s policy meetings, the Twitter chief executive gathered with 18 colleagues, including the safety team, to debate ways to make the social media service safer for its users. The discussion quickly turned to how to rid the site of “dehumanizing” speech, even if it did not violate Twitter’s rules, which forbid direct threats of violence and some forms of hate speech but do not prohibit deception or misinformation.
The discussion capped a difficult week for Twitter. For the past five days, the company has been embroiled in internal conversations about how to evolve and explain its policies for what can and cannot be posted on its site. The debates were urgent, fueled by criticism against Twitter for its lack of action against the posts from the far-right conspiracy site Infowars and its creator, Alex Jones.
While Apple, Facebook and Google’s YouTube earlier this week purged videos and podcasts from Mr. Jones and Infowars -- which have regularly spread falsehoods, including that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax -- Twitter let the content remain on its site. In a string of tweets on Tuesday, Mr. Dorsey said Twitter would not ban Mr. Jones or Infowars, because they had not violated the company’s rules.
In the aftermath, many of Twitter’s users and own employees heaped ire on Mr. Dorsey and the company. (Sample comments included “jaw dropping” and “pathetic.”) Several journalists also picked apart Twitter’s decision to leave up the posts from Mr. Jones and Infowars, pointing to examples of the content that appeared to violate the company’s policies.
Even settling on a definition of dehumanizing speech was not easy. By the meeting’s end, Mr. Dorsey and his executives had agreed to draft a policy about dehumanizing speech and open it to the public for their comments.
Yet Twitter publicly kept silent about its process, drawing a barrage of criticism from users who said the site was protecting Mr. Jones and Infowars....
By Wednesday, Twitter had started softening its tone. Ms. Harvey wrote in a companywide email that afternoon that the company would adjust its policies and accelerate its efforts to combat speech that dehumanizes Twitter users. Dehumanization, she wrote, was often a precursor to violence and therefore a top priority for the company.
Speaking of dehumanizing tweets...here’s an extremely small sample of Jeong’s obsessive, racist Twitter file, compiled by Times columnist Bret Stephens (this in a column coming to her defense!):
“White men are bull--”; “#CancelWhitePeople”; “oh man it’s kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old white men” and “f-- white women lol.” She has also bashed the police, called for censoring a fellow journalist, and believed the 2014 University of Virginia rape hoax, in the course of which she lashed out at “white men” and “white college boys.”
Again, the hypocritical New York Times demands retribution for the very social media sins it condones from its own writers.