Twitter removed US President Trump’s account last week citing the risk of violence following the storm of the Capitol by his supporters.
Twitter Inc. CEO Jack Dorsey says it was the “right decision” to ban U.S. President Donald Trump from his social media platform after last week’s violence at the U.S. Capitol, but said it sets a dangerous precedent.
San Francisco-based Twitter last week removed Trump’s account, which had 88 million supporters, citing the risk of further violence following the storm of the Capitol by the president’s supporters.
“Having to take these actions fragment the public conversation,”
The ban drew criticism from some Republicans who said it deterred the president’s right to free speech. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned through a spokeswoman that legislators, not private companies, should decide on possible brakes on freedom of expression.
In her Twitter thread, Dorsey said that while he was not proud of the ban, “Offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all else.”
I’m not celebrating or feeling proud that we should ban @realDonaldTrump from Twitter, or how we got here. After a clear warning that we would take this action, we made a decision with the best information we had, based on threats to physical security both on and off Twitter. Was this correct?
– jack (@jack) January 14, 2021
Still, he added, “While there are clear and obvious exceptions, I feel that a ban is ultimately our failure to promote a healthy conversation.”
Twitter has introduced a number of measures over the past year, such as labels, alerts, and distribution restrictions to reduce the need for decisions to completely remove content from the service.
Dorsey has said he believes these measures can promote more fruitful or “healthy” conversations online and lessen the effects of bad behavior.
The Twitter director added that bans from social media to Trump after last week’s violence were encouraged by each other’s actions, even though they were not coordinated. But in the long run, the previous set “will be devastating to the noble purposes and ideals of the open Internet,” he said.
Supporters of Trump, who have repeatedly made unsubstantiated allegations challenging Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the November election, stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, trying to halt congressional certification of Biden’s election college win.
On Wednesday, Trump became the first president in U.S. history to be indicted twice.