Twitter removed US President Trump’s account last week, citing a risk of violence following a Capitol assault by his supporters.
Twitter Inc. CEO Jack Dorsey says banning US President Donald Trump from his social platform following last week’s violence in the US Capitol is the “right decision”, but said it sets a dangerous precedent.
San Francisco-based Twitter last week removed Trump’s 88 million followers, citing the risk of further violence following the Capitol attack by supporters of the president.
“Imposing these actions fragments the public conversation,”
The ban has drawn criticism from some Republicans, who say it calms the president’s right to free speech. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned in a spokeswoman that lawmakers, not private companies, should decide on potential restrictions on free expression.
In his Twitter thread, Dorsey said that while he was not proud of the ban, “the harm offline from online speech is clearly real and what drives our policy and implementation above all else.”
I’m not celebrating and I’m not proud that we should ban @realDonaldTrump from Twitter or how we got here. After a clear warning that we would do so, we decided on the best information we had based on physical security threats both on and off Twitter. Was that right?
– jack (@jack) January 14, 2021
However, he added, “Although there are clear and obvious exceptions, I feel that the ban is our failure to ultimately promote healthy conversation.”
Twitter has introduced a series of measures over the past year, such as labels, warnings and distribution restrictions, to reduce the need for solutions to remove content entirely from the service.
Dorsey said he believed the measures could encourage more rewarding or “healthy” online conversations and reduce the effects of misbehavior.
The CEO of Twitter added that social media bans on Trump following last week’s violence were encouraged by the other’s actions, although they were not coordinated. But in the long run, the precedent “will be destructive to the noble cause and ideals of the open Internet,” he said.
Supporters of Trump, who has repeatedly made baseless claims challenging Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the November election, stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, trying to stop Congressional certification of Biden’s Electoral College victory.
On Wednesday, Trump became the first president in US history to be impeached twice.