Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey called Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) on Tuesday about his company’s decisions to allow President Donald Trump’s tweet that many mainstream media sources say sparked death threats towards the congresswoman.
Dorsey promised to do more to combat alleged hate speech on the social media platform.
Dorsey and Omar discussed a video that Trump shared in April which featured footage the former Somalian refugee saying that on September 11, 2001, “some people did something,” and interspersed the footage with the Twin Towers burning. The Washington Post suggested that the comment lacked context, contending that Omar’s comments referred to Muslims’ alleged loss of civil liberties after the 2011 terrorist attacks.
Here is the video that Omar claims incited death threats against here:
WE WILL NEVER FORGET! pic.twitter.com/VxrGFRFeJM
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2019
The progressive Muslim congresswoman reportedly pressed Dorsey to explain why Twitter did not remove Trump’s tweet; Dorsey responded, saying that the tweet did not violate the company’s rules.
The Twitter chief executive also said that the video had already been shared far and beyond the social media platform; however, Dorsey said that the company needs to do more to remove hate and harassment from the site.
On April 14, Omar claimed that she had witnessed an “increase in direct threats on my life– many directly referencing or replying to the president’s video.”
In a statement, Twitter said that they continue to invest in technologies that would allow them to better police alleged hate speech.
During their conversation, [Dorsey] emphasized that death threats, incitement to violence, and hateful conduct are not allowed on Twitter. We’ve significantly invested in technology to proactively surface this type of content and will continue to focus on reducing the burden on the individual being targeted. Our team has also consistently been in touch with Rep. Omar’s office.
Twitter also said that they continue to rethink their policies surrounding hate speech and might implement a new technique that would provide more context around tweets that violate their rules but remain on the platform due to the speaker’s public status. The Post mentioned that the policy could allow for notations surrounding Trump’s tweets.
Dorsey’s call to Omar surfaced the same day that he met with President Trump at the White House to discuss the conversational health of Twitter. Trump raised concerns during the meeting that the social media giant was unfairly removing followers from his account.