Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey defended the platform’s decision to ban President Donald Trump in — what else? — a Twitter thread.
Dorsey’s defense of Twitter’s decision to ban Trump called the banning of Trump’s account “dangerous.”
“I do not celebrate or feel pride in our having to ban @realDonaldTrump from Twitter, or how we got here. After a clear warning we’d take this action, we made a decision with the best information we had based on threats to physical safety both on and off Twitter. Was this correct?” Dorsey asked rhetorically in a 13-tweet thread.
“I believe this was the right decision for Twitter. We faced an extraordinary and untenable circumstance, forcing us to focus all of 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,” he continued. The right decision “for Twitter,” not for freedom.
“That said, having to ban an account has real and significant ramifications. While there are clear and obvious exceptions, I feel a ban is a failure of ours ultimately to promote healthy conversation,” said Dorsey. “And a time for us to reflect on our operations and the environment around us.
“Having to take these actions fragment the public conversation,” he said. “They divide us. They limit the potential for clarification, redemption, and learning. And sets a precedent I feel is dangerous: the power an individual or corporation has over a part of the global public conversation.”
Ever clarifying his self-assumed position as the arbiter of truth on the platform. Dorsey went on to say: “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.”
Leaving Twitter for “another internet service” may not be as simple as Dorsey would have you to think. After all, Apple, Google and Amazon removed the free speech-oriented app Parler from their app stores, and Amazon went so far as to remove Parler from its servers entirely. The site is currently shut down as a result.
Ironically, Dorsey said he believes that Twitter made “the right decision,” but that the actions the company took “sets a precedent [he] feel[s] is dangerous.”
Even Kate Ruane, the senior legislative counsel of the far-left American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) reportedly expressed concern over Twitter’s banning of Trump.
“We understand the desire to permanently suspend him now, but it should concern everyone when companies like Facebook and Twitter wield the unchecked power to remove people from platforms that have become indispensable for the speech of billions — especially when political realities make those decisions easier.”
Trump is still able to circumvent the Twitter ban to some extent, at least for now, by using the @whitehouse and @POTUS accounts. As long as he doesn’t write anything Twitter doesn’t like.
Twitter decided to ban Trump from the platform on Jan. 8. Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Reddit, TikTok and even Shopify have either banned or suspended Trump from their respective platforms.
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