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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey: Internet Companies for the Powerful

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testified externally during the Senate’s Trade, Science and Transportation Committee hearing ‘Has the sweeping immunity of Section 230 enabled Big Tech misconduct’ on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, October 28, 2020.

Greg Nash | Pool | Reuters

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said Wednesday that banning President Donald Trump was the “right decision for Twitter,”

; but admitted that the Internet should not be controlled by a handful of private companies.

In a series of 13 tweets, Dorsey said that online speech that results in harm in the real world requires action, even though a ban on an account is divisive “and sets a precedent that I feel is dangerous.” He wrote that if a company like Twitter makes a decision that people do not like, they can go elsewhere and create an inherent control of its power.

However, Trump’s general ban following the Capitol uprising raised his level of concern.

“This concept was challenged last week when a number of basic Internet tool providers also decided not to host what they found dangerous,” Dorsey wrote. “I do not think this was coordinated. More likely: companies came to their own conclusions or were encouraged by the actions of others.”

Twitter and Facebook removed Trump’s account after last week’s violence at the Capitol, which was encouraged by the president and his comments on social media. YouTube followed on Tuesday, removing Trump’s last significant online channel to reach its tens of thousands of followers.

Meanwhile, the Parler app, widely used by conservatives, has been banned by Apple and Google due to violent content and poor control over moderation. Amazon Web Services also took access from Parler.

Dorsey said the inconsistent policies and lack of transparency undermine efforts to create an open Internet.

“The reason I have such a passion for #Bitcoin is largely due to the model it demonstrates: a basic Internet technology that is not controlled or influenced by a single person or entity,” Dorsey wrote. “This is what the Internet will be, and over time, more of it will be.”

He referred to an announcement from the end of 2019 when Twitter said it was funding a small team called Bluesky to come up with “an open decentralized standard for social media.” He said the project is hiring now and will “carry out the work completely through public transparency.”

CLOCK: Twitter without Trump

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