Jack Dorsey Says Trump Twitter Ban Was the ‘Right Decision’
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Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, posted a series of tweets Wednesday evening defending the company’s suspension of U.S. President Donald Trump’s account after the violence that occurred at Capitol Hill last week, but stated that the decision should not be celebrated.
“Offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all,” Dorsey said. However, he also stated that this sets a precedent that’s dangerous to a “free and open global internet.”
This is the first time the CEO of Twitter publicly addressed removing Trump from the platform. Twitter permanently banned Trump’s account following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” Snapchat also permanently banned Trump’s account, while Facebook and YouTube enacted temporary bans.
Dorsey highlighted the challenges social media companies face when trying to balance different interests and censoring offensive content. Twitter and other social media companies previously faced scrutiny for not banning Trump after he tweeted unverified information about voter fraud. Instead of removing the content, they flagged it since it was still a topic of public interest.
Dorsey also stated the importance of unity between social media companies in limiting the spread of misinformation and disinformation. It challenges the notion that if people don’t like Twitter’s rules, they can simply use another social media platform.
There’s a genuine concern regarding what this means for the future of internet freedom. At this point in Dorsey’s Twitter thread, he explained the importance of Bitcoin as a decentralized model for social media.
“A foundational internet technology that is not controlled or influenced by any single individual or entity. This is what the internet wants to be, and over time, more of it will be.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador both criticized the CEO’s move to ban Trump. Merkel’s spokesperson called the social media ban “problematic,” while President Lopez said, “I don’t like the idea of anyone being censored.”
Dorsey ended his series of tweets by emphasizing the importance of a global public conversation to address ongoing issues of political discourse.
“I believe the internet and global public conversation is our best and most relevant method of achieving this. I also recognize it does not feel that way today. Everything we learn in this moment will better our effort, and push us to be what we are: one humanity working together.”