The actor’s message to his 7.65 million followers ripped what he called Dorsey’s “bizarre need to verify white supremacists on his platform.” It quickly racked up 11,000 retweets and 45,000 likes.
Twitter has been widely criticized for its passive response to being used as a platform for people promoting objectionable ideas. Incidents like the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. last year were fueled by Twitter users.
The social network has recently reviewed its rules for users, which critics say are still not clearly drawn enough. “We believe in freedom of expression and open dialogue,” the rules state, “but that means little as an underlying philosophy if voices are silenced because people are afraid to speak up. In order to ensure that people feel safe expressing diverse opinions and beliefs, we prohibit behavior that crosses the line into abuse, including behavior that harasses, intimidates, or uses fear to silence another user’s voice.”
Dorsey has not replied on Twitter as yet, but the tweet pinned at the top of his account is his declaration to “help increase the collective health, openness and civility of public conversation.”
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other digital giants have faced scrutiny for the role they play in enabling objectionable content. The nearly 2,000 replies to Rogen’s tweet highlighted the debate that has flared up, with proponents of tighter restrictions pointing to the actual harm done by white supremacists, terrorists and others, and critics of stricter enforcement crying censorship.
Here is Rogen’s tweet, followed by Dorsey’s pinned tweet: