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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey defends Trump’s ban, but admits the company’s power sets ‘dangerous’ precedent



Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey spoke on Wednesday about his company’s decision last week to ban President Trump from his platform.

“I’m not celebrating or feeling proud that we’re going to have to ban @realDonaldTrump, or how we got here,” Dorsey began a long Twitter thread. “After a clear warning that we would take this action, we made a decision with the best information we had, based on physical security threats both on and off Twitter. Was this correct?

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“I think that was the right decision for Twitter,”

; Dorsey continued. “We faced an extraordinary and untenable circumstance that forced us to focus all our actions on public safety. Offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all else.

That said, it is necessary to ban an account from real and significant consequences. Although there are clear and obvious exceptions, I believe that a ban is a failure for us in the end to promote a healthy conversation. And it is time for us to reflect on our operations and the environment around us, ”continued the CEO.

Dorsey acknowledged that by taking such actions “fragments of public discourse”, “divide us” and “limit the potential for clarification, redemption and learning.” He also admitted that the power of his company in the “global public discourse” has set a “dangerous” precedent.

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“The control and accountability of this power has always been the fact that a service like Twitter is a small part of the larger public conversation that takes place over the Internet. If people do not agree with our rules and enforcement, they can simply go for a other internet service, “Dorsey wrote.

The CEO then pointed to other social media giants who have also suspended or permanently banned Trump’s accounts, writing “I do not think this was coordinated,” but argued that such companies were likely “brave” by the actions of their competitors.

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“This moment in time may require this dynamic, but in the long run it will be devastating to the noble purpose and ideals of the open Internet,” Dorsey said. “A company that makes a business decision to moderate is different from a government that removes access but can still feel very much the same. Yes, we all need to look critically at inconsistencies in our policies and enforcement. “Yes, we need to look at how our service can encourage distraction and harm. Yes, we need more transparency in our moderation operations. All of this cannot destroy a free and open global Internet.”

Dorsey then highlighted a Twitter-funded initiative called “bluesky,” which he said would hopefully set an “open decentralized standard for social media.” He then promised to commit to “public transparency” while the program is being developed.

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“It is important that we recognize that this is a time of great uncertainty and struggle for so many around the world. Our goal at this moment is to disarm as much as possible and ensure that we all build towards a greater common understanding and a more peaceful existence on earth, “Dorsey continued.” I believe that the Internet and global public discourse are our best and most relevant way of achieving this. I also acknowledge that it does not feel that way today. Everything we learn in this moment will enhance our efforts and push us to be what we are: a humanity working together. “

Following the January 6 uprising against Capitol Hill, Twitter concluded that allowing Trump to return to the social media platform risks “further incitement to violence.”

Highlighting two relatively tame tweets from the president, one of whom said he would not attend Biden’s inauguration on January 20, the company claimed they should be seen in a broader context.

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“These two tweets should be read in the context of wider events in the country and the ways in which the president’s statements can be mobilized by different target groups, including to encourage violence, as well as in the context of the pattern of behavior from this account in recent weeks.” said the company. “After assessing the language of these tweets against our glorification of violence policy, we have determined that these tweets are in violation of the glorification of violence policy and user @realDonaldTrump should be immediately permanently suspended from the service.”


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