Twitter, at least in the U.S., has a Nazi problem. While the company has taken steps to at least look like it cares, it still serves as a platform for hostility, abuse, and harassment. Seth Rogen wondered why, and, being a celebrity, he can get Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey on the line. Rogen, so far, is unimpressed.
Really, Rogen’s thoughts aren’t surprising. In his words, Dorsey “doesn’t give a f***.”
Rogen is being called on to release the conversations, which he may or may not do, but one has to ask if Rogen isn’t being kind to Dorsey. Objectively, Twitter’s track record on Nazis tends towards defending them. It will happily ban people for being hostile towards Nazis, but those same Nazis don’t get the boot for issuing death threats. Twitter has been accused of practically optimizing its platform for hate speech. And remember: Twitter could stop this at any time. Due to different laws overseas, it tracks and blocks hate speech and Nazis elsewhere, but won’t do the same in the U.S. unless prodded to.
To be fair, Nazis are just the most visible harassers lately, and Twitter is far from alone in being utterly tone-deaf in Silicon Valley. Last year, we learned that Facebook’s censorship rules sort people into “protected groups” and “subclasses,” so white men are protected, but Black children aren’t. But Twitter has had this problem for a decade, has repeatedly been the target of criticism for it, and still refuses to take the necessary steps to solve it.
Perhaps Dorsey really just doesn’t care; it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility, nor would he be alone. But after a solid decade of criticism, the assessment of him not giving a f*ck (vs. being specifically willing to deal with Nazis either for controversy clicks, deep-seated blindspots, or some sort of misplaced “both sides”-ism) is beginning to seem overly generous.