Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has made his first public statement days after the social media platform banned US President Donald Trump. In a series of tweets, Dorsey explained why Trump was banned from the social media network and insists that Twitter made the right decision. But he warned that such actions could set a dangerous precedent.
“I believe this was the right decision for Twitter,” Dorsey said in a series of tweets. “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.”
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.
— jack (@jack) January 14, 2021
On January 8, Twitter suspended Trump’s account permanently after thousands of his supporters stormed the US Capitol in Washington DC, and clashed with the police. The microblogging website had first temporarily suspended Donald Trump’s account later imposed the permanent ban, citing, “risk of further incitement of violence”. Apart from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have also blocked Trump’s accounts for policy violations.
In his tweets, Dorsey said he took no pride in the ban. “ 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,” he wrote.
The Twitter CEO acknowledged that the ban could have “significant ramifications”. Dorsey also said that he felt the decision to suspend the account was a failure on the company’s part to promote a healthy conversation.
“Having to take these actions to 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.”
Dorsey said that internet companies, including Twitter, should look at inconsistencies in their policy and how their service can incentivise distraction and harm. “Yes, we need more transparency in our moderation operations,” he said. ‘All this can’t erode a free and open global internet.”