Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Wednesday earned praise from a surprising place: Sean Hannity.
The Fox News right-wing primetime star praised Dorsey for appearing on his radio show after Twitter announced Tuesday evening that it would not follow other major social-media platforms in banning far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
“I know these other guys are hiding under their desks,” Hannity told Dorsey in an interview, referring to the heads of other social-media platforms.
YouTube, iTunes, Spotify, and Facebook all announced this week that Jones and his website InfoWars are banned from their platforms for hate speech and other term violations. Among his many transgressions, Jones has used his digital show to falsely claim that the parents of children killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting were “crisis actors,” and earlier this year blamed the deadly Parkland school shooting on the wrong person in an effort to claim the gunman was a “communist.”
Dorsey made the unusual step of going on Hannity’s afternoon talk-radio show to explain how Twitter applies its content rules. Liberals have criticized Twitter for not following YouTube and Facebook in banning Jones’ content, while Dorsey has responded that the InfoWars chief hasn’t violated Twitter’s rules.
Hannity also asked Dorsey about accusations that Twitter “shadow-bans” conservative content to make it less visible. The Twitter chief denied that his platform shadow-bans users based on the political content of their tweets, although he added that the site uses algorithms to down-rank users who “unfairly amplify their content.”
He further explained: “We do believe in the power of free expression, but we also need to balance that with the fact that bad-faith actors intentionally try to silence other voices.”
Hannity, who has used Twitter to promote conspiracy theories about the murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, asked Dorsey whether there was a push to ban Hannity himself from the platform.
“I’m sure someone is saying it somewhere,” Dorsey replied.