Jack Dorsey’s endorsement of anti-vax podcaster highlights Twitter’s misinformation problem

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey faces criticism for promoting a writer and podcaster about physical exercise that has spread fears about vaccines. Dorsey tweeted his support for podcaster, author Ben Greenfield after appearing on his show, noting he was grateful for all the work that Greenfield does to "simplify the mountain of research focused on increasing a person's health " A Twitter spokesman claimed that Dorsey was not aware of Greenfield's views on vaccines.

Despite the rejection, Dorsey still has to answer. Twitter has been targeting reporters to a follow-up tweet from Greenfield in which it says: "I rarely visited the subject and had no idea until I knew how much of a problem the problem was." Greenfield now says he "is not against vaccines." and says he had vaccinated his children. But like recently a month ago he wrote "Vaccines do cause autism". There is overwhelming scientific evidence that this is not true and that vaccines have saved tens of millions of lives.

Dorsey's endorsement comes at a time when technology platforms such as Amazon, Facebook and YouTube are facing a similar reaction to a violent reaction the dissemination of anti-VAX conspiracy theories. Amazon has eliminated some books that provide misinformation, Facebook is closing anti-vax groups and YouTube is running information tables on vaccines under the conspiracy theory videos.

Twitter has policies that prevent people or companies from posting ads that disseminate misinformation, but there is no rule that prevents users from disseminating conspiracy theories or false information. So, when Greenfield tweeted in February that "vaccines do cause autism" to its audience of more than 70,000 followers, Twitter took no action.

This is not the first conversation about anti-VAX conspiracy theories that has followed a podcast appearance with Dorsey. In the podcast of comedian Joe Rogan earlier this month, Dorsey said that Twitter gives people the opportunity to find information from a variety of perspectives, rather than restrict the dissemination of information. He added that Twitter has not addressed the misinformation that covers a number of topics, and did not notice if Twitter would begin to address the wrong information against vaccination.

Twitter's chief legal adviser, Vijaya Gadde, added that Twitter tries not to "be true and it's not true." He also said Twitter is more focused on combating misinformation that harms people in "a way direct and tangible. "Disseminating misinformation by linking to videos or YouTube articles that promote conspiracy theories against vaccination" is not a violation of the rules of Twitter, "he said.

Dorsey has been criticized repeatedly for tweets that ignore more important cultural problems. In November 2018, Dorsey was on a trip to India when he posed with a sign that read "Crush Brahminical Patriarchy." The poster referred to the caste system of the country, which is a controversial issue in India. Dorsey did not immediately respond to the violent reaction that occurred online, but a Twitter spokesperson told him Bloomberg that Dorsey did not know what the sign meant and declared himself ignorant.

Then, just a month later, Dorsey found herself in trouble again after tweeting a long thread about her trip to Myanmar. Although the country is involved in civil unrest, Dorsey ignored the country's problems to tweet about topics such as meditation and the positive effects of living a spiritual lifestyle. He did not notice that social media platforms like Facebook have been used to stimulate real violence in countries like Myanmar.

Dorsey, after three days of silence, responded to the Myanmar controversy in a thread on Twitter where he acknowledged that "I could have recognized that I do not know enough and I need to learn more". If the past actions of Dorsey here are some As an indication, we can see that the Twitter boss responds on his platform about the anti-VAX situation in the short term.

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