Twitter CEO says banning Trump right decision but set risky precedent

Joanna Estrada
January 14, 2021

Dorsey's 13-tweet thread Wednesday evening went from defending the ban, to lamenting its effects on the public conversation, to touting Bluesky, the initiative aimed at creating an open decentralized standard for social media, which he introduced in December 2019.

'Last week we announced an indefinite suspension of President Trump's Snapchat account, and have been assessing what long term action is in the best interest of our Snapchat community, ' Snapchat told The Wrap in a statement.

At the same time, Twitter and other social networks have usually given special treatment to most politicians, allowing their accounts to remain online after statements that would get ordinary users banned.

"Offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all".

The president's account was permanently suspended last week and the reason Twitter gave cited violations of their Glorification of Violence policy.

He said he believed the ban was the right decision.

"Having to take these actions fragment the public conversation". I also recognize that it does not feel that way today.

However, Dorsey also indicated that blocking Trump was far from his preferred course of action, calling it "a failure of ours ultimately to promote healthy conversation". Yes, we need more transparency in our moderation operations.

Twitter Inc Chief Executive Jack Dorsey said on Wednesday that banning U.S. President Donald Trump from Twitter was the "right decision" but added the ban sets a unsafe precedent.

That prompted many Trump supporters to quickly flock to far-right social media platforms like Parler and Gab, which have sought to brand themselves as bastions of free speech due to their lax approaches to policing content. His attempt to overturn the election may have done just that.

Some conservatives fled to other social media platforms, particularly Parler, which was then blocked from iPhones by Apple, blocked from Android phones by Google, and taken offline completely by Amazon. I do not believe this was coordinated.

The Twitter CEO concluded, "I believe the internet and global public conversation is our best and most relevant method of achieving this".

"This concept was challenged last week when a number of foundational internet tool providers also decided not to host what they found risky. this moment in time might call for this dynamic, but over the long term it will be destructive to the noble objective and ideals of the open internet".

He did not make specific mention of his own accounts being deleted from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram after his posts were deemed to be encouraging violence. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned through a spokesman that legislators, not private companies, should decide on potential curbs to free expression.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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