Thursday, August 11, 2016
A former Twitter CEO took measures to ensure messages critical of President Obama wouldn't circulate too widely on the platform during a 2015 question-and-answer session, according to a new report.
The incident allegedly occurred during a May 2015 "#AskPOTUS" event on the platform, when former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo purportedly ordered the creation of an algorithm to suppress the messages and used employees to manually scrub any critical content missed by the software.
Costolo kept the decision secret from company executives for fear that someone might object, several sources told Buzzfeed. The sources said Costolo engaged in the same censorship during another Q&A with Caitlyn Jenner.
Costolo was replaced as Twitter CEO by company co-founder Jack Dorsey two months after the forum with the president.
The latest allegations come in the wake of several high profile complaints against Dorsey for cracking down on conservative users: The platform banned Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos last month, and appeared to remove "DNC leaks" from the site's "trending news" section even as it was growing in popularity.
The site in July additionally banned an account for Kassy Dillon, a writer for the conservative college publication Campus Reform, before subsequently restoring it without explanation. Twitter has refused to comment on any of the incidents, save for one tweet from Dorsey that said "false" in response to allegations the site manipulated news.