Twitter CEO: Trump ban is ‘right’ but sets a ‘dangerous’ precedent
Wednesday night, in a 13-tweet thread, Dorsey said the “offline harm” caused by Trump’s tweets led the company to ban the president from Twitter.
Twitter banned Trump following the riot at the U.S. Capitol last week due to “the risk of further incitement of violence.” Many big tech companies followed suit, including Facebook, Reddit, Pinterest, Snapchat and YouTube, who have suspended Trump’s accounts temporarily and in some cases, permanently.
Dorsey said he faced “extraordinary and untenable circumstances” surrounding Trump’s permanent suspension.
Further, Dorsey noted that having to take these actions “fragment the public conversation.”
“They divide us,” he continued. “They limit the potential for clarification, redemption, and learning.”
Moreover, He admitted that the power of his corporation in the “global public conversation” has set a “dangerous” precedent.
Dorsey continued, saying that if users do not agree with Twitter’s policies, they can go to a different internet service. But after last week, this concept was challenged.
“The check and accountability on this power has always been the fact that a service like Twitter is one small part of the larger public conversation happening across the internet. If folks do not agree with our rules and enforcement, they can simply go to another internet service,” Dorsey said.
“This concept was challenged last week when a number of foundational internet tool providers also decided not to host what they found dangerous. I do not believe this was coordinated. More likely: companies came to their own conclusions or were emboldened by the actions of others.”
Dorsey acknowledged that the ability for companies to shut down users’ accounts “will be destructive to the noble purpose and ideals of the open internet.”
Finally, Dorsey concluded his thread by saying, “I believe the internet and global public conversation is our best and most relevant method of achieving this. I also recognize it does not feel that way today. Everything we learn in this moment will better our effort, and push us to be what we are: one humanity working together.”