Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Defends Banning Trump, Worries About 'Precedent'


After President Donald Trump was banned from Twitter, the platform's CEO, Jack Dorsey, did not release a press statement. Instead, he did what many would do in his situation, tweet. In a lengthy thread, Dorsey shared that he felt Twitter did the right thing by banning the President. However, he did have a few fears about the precedent he may have set by doing so.

"I do not celebrate or feel pride in our having to ban Donald Trump 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?" he asked.

"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."

With Trump's ban, the social media platform garnered a lot of criticism. As noted, many feel that Trump's words led to real, visible violence which is not covered by the platform nor the First Amendment. Moving forward, Dorsey is conscious of the "precedent" he may set and he is looking to draw a clear line between free speech and inappropriate Twitter use.

"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. And a time for us to reflect on our operations and the environment around us," he continued.

"Having to take these actions fragment the public conversation. 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."

Dorsey asserts that Twitter is a free and open platform. Moreover, he is willing to accept responsibility when healthy conversation is not promoted on the platform. However, he maintains that he is willing to let users move to other platforms if they engage in activities similar to those of Donald Trump.

"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."

Photo Credit: Getty Images


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