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Jack Dorsey: Twitter CEO says Trump’s ban was right, but sets a “dangerous” precedent



“I believe this was the right decision for Twitter,” Dorsey said in a series of 13 posts on his platform, citing “extraordinary and insolvent” circumstances after Trump sparked a riot in the US Capitol last week, an event that forced social media company to “focus all our actions on public safety”.

“I’m not celebrating and I’m not proud that we should ban @realDonaldTrump from Twitter or how we got here,” Dorsey said. “The offline harm of online speech is clearly real and what drives our policy and implementation above all else.”

In the last four years, Twitter (TWTR) was central to Trump’s presidency, a fact that also benefited the company in the form of countless hours of consumer engagement. Twitter has taken a light approach to moderating its account, often arguing that as a public servant, Trump should be given wide freedom to speak. But the Capitol riot led to a ban.

Dorsey dealt with the consequences of the decision in his posts, acknowledging that “imposing an account ban has real and significant consequences.” Removing users, he said, fragmented the public conversation and divided people.

“Although there are clear and obvious exceptions, I believe the ban is our failure to ultimately promote healthy conversation. And time to reflect on our operations and the environment around us,” he said.

The CEO also referred to similar actions taken by other social media companies, such as Facebook (FB) and Snapchat (SNAP), to ban the president. These actions were not coordinated, Dorsey said, but they are a challenge for the technology industry.

“The verification and accountability of this authority has always been the fact that a service like Twitter is a small part of the larger public conversation happening on the Internet,” he said. “If people don’t agree with our rules and application, they can just go to another internet service.”

The technology industry uses the

“This concept was challenged last week when a number of major ISPs also decided not to host what they found dangerous,” he continued.

Amazon (AMZN) virtually killed Parler, a platform favored by the far right when it terminated its web hosting contract.

The president’s decision to ban Twitter had immediate consequences: Trump lost access to more than 88 million followers, and the move exposed the company to complaints of censorship by Republicans. Democrats blew up the role of social media in supporting Trump and warned of new legislation regulating the technology industry.

Dorsey suggests in his publications that the actions of the technology industry can also have long-term consequences.

“This moment in time may require this dynamic, but in the long run it will be destructive to the noble goal and ideals of the open internet. A company that decides to moderate a business is different from a government that removes access, but can still I feel almost the same, “Dorsey said.

“Yes, we all need to look critically at inconsistencies in our policy and implementation. Yes, we need to look at how our service can stimulate distraction and harm. Yes, we need more transparency in our moderation operations. All of this cannot be disrupted. free and open global internet, “he added.

– Brian Fung contributed to the reporting.




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