Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey recently confessed to a professor at NYU that the workplace as a whole at Twitter is so entrenched in liberal beliefs and ideology that its conservative employees “don’t feel safe to express their opinions.”
This marks a sharp U-turn among Silicon Valley executives as those at both YouTube and Facebook have previously stressed that they don’t honestly feel that political discourse on their social media platforms are hampered by political bias. With both Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg noting that while it is certainly true that their workplaces have a liberal bent, they believe that they have constructed their platforms in such a way that conservatives shouldn’t feel threatened to express their own points of view, as Newsweek reports.
However, Dorsey has recently admitted that Twitter may not feel as safe for conservative employees as he had previously believed, noting that many now feel completely silenced.
“We have a lot of conservative-leaning folks in the company as well, and to be honest, they don’t feel safe to express their opinions at the company. They do feel silenced by just the general swirl of what they perceive to be the broader percentage of leanings within the company, and I don’t think that’s fair or right.”
InfoWars’ Alex Jones yells at Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey as he left the Senate hearing on foreign electioneering on social media.— POLITICO (@politico) September 5, 2018
Jones, known for spreading baseless conspiracy theories, alleges that tech companies are biased against conservatives. https://t.co/0GzlTKME9W pic.twitter.com/eRPCuYKQUF
Donald Trump is just one of many people who has alleged there is a definite “conservative bias” within companies like Twitter and Facebook, and the president has repeatedly accused these Silicon Valley companies of censoring comments, which doesn’t necessarily make it easy for conservative employees. However, Dorsey has said that regardless of the prevalent liberal beliefs of most Twitter employees, his company as a whole tries to never discriminate.
“I think it’s more and more important to at least clarify what our own bias leans towards, and just express it. I’d rather know what someone’s biases are rather than try to interpret through their actions.”
However, Dorsey is well aware that because of the liberal bias that is inherent with Twitter that “we should make sure that everyone feels safe to express themselves within the company, no matter where they come from and what their background is.”
According to Recode, the Twitter CEO believes that regardless of whether an individual has liberal or conservative beliefs, everyone should feel safe speaking up.
“I don’t know if entering into a political debate is always the right first step, but maybe. But yeah, I definitely encourage speaking up and having the courage to do so, but one has to feel it maybe in a different context before they get more of that, and I think it just takes time. But we have people who will be courageous and speak up, but I don’t know. It’s hard to do as any individual.”
So despite Twitter’s liberal-leaning platform, CEO Jack Dorsey has publicly admitted that many conservative employees feel frightened to express their points of view, and is working to change this.