Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, on Thursday gave reasons why the microblogging platform had to ban the account of outgoing US President Donald Trump.
In a tweet thread, Jack said; “I am neither celebrating nor proud of having to ban @realDonaldTrump from Twitter, or how we got here. After a clear warning that we would take this action, we made a decision with the best information we had based on the threats to physical security both on and off Twitter. Was this correct?
“I think this was the right decision for Twitter. We faced an extraordinary and unsustainable circumstance that forced us to focus all our actions on public safety. The offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and compliance above all.
“That said, having to ban an account has real and significant ramifications. While there are clear and obvious exceptions, I believe that a ban is our ultimate failure to promote healthy conversation. And a time for us to reflect on our operations and the environment around us.
“Having to take these actions fragments the public conversation. They divide us. They limit the potential for clarification, redemption, and learning. And it sets a precedent that I consider dangerous: the power that an individual or corporation has over a part of the global public conversation.
“The control and responsibility for this power has always been the fact that a service like Twitter is a small part of the larger public conversation that takes place across the Internet. If people don’t agree to our rules and compliance, they can simply go to another internet service.
“This concept was challenged last week when several key Internet tool providers also decided not to host what they considered dangerous. I don’t think this has been coordinated. Most likely: companies reached their own conclusions or were emboldened by the actions of others.
“This moment in time may require this dynamic, but in the long run it will be destructive to the noble purpose and ideals of the open Internet. A company that makes the decision to moderate itself is different from a government that eliminates access, but it may feel the same way.
“Yes, we must all look critically at the inconsistencies in our policy and compliance. Yes, we need to look at how our service might incentivize distraction and harm. Yes, we need more transparency in our moderation operations. All of this cannot erode a free and open global Internet.
“It is important that we recognize that this is a time of great uncertainty and struggle for many people around the world. Our goal right now is to disarm everything we can and make sure that we are all building towards a greater common understanding and a more peaceful existence on earth.
“I believe that the Internet and the global public conversation is our best and most relevant method to achieve this. I also recognize that it does not feel that way today. Everything we learn at this time will enhance our efforts and will drive us to be what we are: a humanity working together. “
I neither celebrate nor pride myself on having to ban @realDonaldTrump from Twitter, or how we got here. After a clear warning that we would take this action, we made a decision with the best information we had based on the threats to physical security both on and off Twitter. Was this correct?
– jack (@jack) January 14, 2021