Faced with criticisms from President Donald Trump that Twitter is “shadow banning” and silencing conservative voices, chief executive Jack Dorsey admitted that those who work for the social media giant have their own biases - and that they’re “more left-leaning.”
Mr. Dorsey, however, said in his interview with CNN on Saturday that political ideology does not influence how Twitter determines what is and is not appropriate behavior on the platform.
“The real question behind the question is, ‘Are we doing something according to political ideology or view points?‘ And we are not. Period,” Mr. Dorsey said. “We do not look at content with regards to political viewpoint or ideology. We look at behavior.”
“We need to constantly show that we are not adding our own bias, which I fully admit is more left-leaning,” he added. “And I think it’s important to articulate our own bias and to share it with people so that people understand us. But we need to remove our bias from how we act and our policies and our enforcement.”
Mr. Dorsey’s comments come amid a debate over how tech companies influence public discourse. Apple, Facebook, YouTube and Spotify have taken aggressive steps against right-wing talk show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for violating their hate speech policies. Spotify, Facebook and YouTube removed Mr. Jones from their platforms, and Apple followed suit by removing the majority of podcasts published by Mr. Jones’ website, Infowars, from iTunes and its podcast apps.
Twitter also suspended Mr. Jones’ account for a week after he urged his supporters to get their “battle rifles” ready against antifascists and the mainstream media. Mr. Jones made the comments on his show, which was published on Periscope, Twitter’s video-streaming service. Twitter said Mr. Jones’ comments violated the company’s rules about violent threats.
23 people shot, 1 fatally — ‘Welcome to Chicago, I guess’
CHICAGO — The shootings happened largely in heavy bursts, with five people shot within an hour Saturday night, and another seven people shot in just over an hour after midnight Sunday morning.
All told, at least 23 people were shot, 1 fatally, in Chicago over 12 hours between Saturday afternoon and early Sunday morning, including three people shot at a peace event at a park on the Near North Side.
In the homicide, 26-year-old Matthew C. Hudson was shot in the back around 8 p.m. in the West Englewood neighborhood on the South Side, police said. Witnesses told officers they heard gunshots and saw the man lying on the sidewalk. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
The triple shooting happened just before 6 p.m. Saturday in Seward Park on the Near North Side. A 28-year-old man was shot in the back, a 43-year-old man was shot in the leg and arm and a 54-year-old man was shot in the leg when three males, about 15 to 20 years old, began firing in their direction, police said.
Early Sunday morning, two men, 40 and 41, were shot after sitting on a porch with friends around 1 a.m. in the Logan Square neighborhood on the Northwest Side, Chicago police said.
Shooting at high school football game a ‘targeted act,’ deputies say
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Deputies say there were two shooters behind the gunfire that erupted at a Friday night high school football game in Wellington — and that at least one of the victims was targeted by the gunmen.
“This was not a result of a current altercation or a random act of violence,” said Teri Barbera, spokeswoman for the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office. “This was not a random act of violence and had no bearing on the Palm Beach Central or William T. Dwyer High Schools, students, faculty and/or staff.”
One shooter was described as being in his late teens to early 20s. He is 6 foot tall and weighs about 170 pounds. He was wearing a baggy white T-shirt and armed with a black handgun. There was no description for the second shooter.
The victims are a 39-year-old man, who is in stable condition; and a 29-year-old man in critical but stable condition. Both are from the West Palm Beach area.
“The investigation is very active and ongoing,” Ms. Barbera added.
Authorities emphasized that the incident has no bearing on school safety.
“This is not a school shooting,” Ms. Barbera said.
Still students, parents and high school staff rattled by the gunfire were offered counseling Saturday, as the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and school district police continue their search for the shooters.
1 of 3 suspects in Camden County police ambush now in custody
Camden County police have caught one break in their pursuit of three young men who stand accused of shooting two detectives in an unmarked police cruiser earlier this month.
Juan Figueroa, 20, was arrested Saturday night in Gloucester City, N.J., according to Camden County police Chief Scott Thomson. The development came just a day after authorities identified Mr. Figueroa and two others, Alexander DeJesus and Ammar Hall, as the suspects in the brazen Aug. 7 shooting, which coincided with National Night Out.
Chief Thomson encouraged Mr. DeJesus, 19, of Philadelphia and Mr. Hall, 26, of Camden to surrender peacefully. A $60,000 reward is still being offered in exchange for information that leads to their arrests.
Authorities have said the three men were in a white van when they pulled behind the detectives, who were sitting in their car while they worked a surveillance detail in Camden’s Bergen Square neighborhood. Two of the men stepped out of the van and fired 10 to 25 rounds from semiautomatic weapons at the detectives in just seven seconds in what appeared to be an unprovoked attack.
The detectives, whose names have not been released, were wounded, but one managed to return fire as the suspects fled. Both detectives were treated for their injuries at a local hospital and released.
California drops wildfire utility liability protection plan
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California lawmakers are abandoning a proposal by Gov. Jerry Brown to shield electrical utilities from some financial liability for wildfires. For now.
There’s not enough time to settle the contentious and complex issues involved before the legislative session ends Aug. 31, Napa Democratic Sen. Bill Dodd told the San Francisco Chronicle on Saturday.
“It was a tough fight ... so we are pivoting,” said Mr. Dodd, co-chairman of the legislative conference committee on wildfire preparedness and response.
Mr. Brown’s proposal would have let judges decide how much utilities pay when their equipment causes wildfires. It would have softened a legal standard that generally holds them entirely responsible for the costs of fires triggered by their power lines or other infrastructure.
Current California law holds utilities responsible for damage from fires ignited by their equipment even if they have followed safety rules.
Those who want to change the law fear utilities could go bankrupt or significantly raise prices for California residents as climate change makes wildfires even more severe.
Judge imprisons Fort Lauderdale airport shooter for life, calls his crime ‘85 seconds of evil’
MIAMI — Calling his mass shooting “85 seconds of evil,” a federal judge Friday sentenced Esteban Santiago to life in prison for killing five travelers and injuring six other people at a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., airport last year.
U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom read off the names of all 11 victims and described their lives before imposing five consecutive life sentences for those who were murdered along with an additional 120 years in prison for those wounded in the shooting massacre at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Jan. 6, 2017. Santiago, who had flown from Anchorage, Alaska, to Fort Lauderdale, carried out the attack in one minute and 25 seconds before surrendering to a Broward County deputy sheriff at the airport.
Santiago, a 28-year-old Iraq War veteran with mental health problems including schizophrenia, said nothing during his sentencing hearing. But a handful of the airport shooting’s survivors and victims’ family members spoke poignantly about the searing loss and maiming of loved ones, all of whom were elderly and traveling to go on a cruise vacation.
“We did not get a chance to say goodbye,” said Melissa Beauchamp, the daughter of Mary Louise Amzibel, 69, of Delaware, who was killed in the shooting. Her husband, Ed, who suffered gunshot wounds and was in a coma after the shooting, stood alongside his daughter in the courtroom.
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