Days after imposing a ban on outgoing US President Donald Trump from Twitter permanently, Chief Executive of the micro-blogging site Jack Dorsey has broken his silence and revealed why the platform has banned Trump, which is an unprecedented fashion that no world leader encountered in recent times. Dorsey has defended the ban on Trump and said it was the right decision.
On Thursday, Dorsey took to Twitter and revealed what's behind the decision of banning the President. In a series of tweets, Dorsey said that the ban has come as a revelation that Twitter has failed to create an open and healthy space for global conversation. He blamed Twitter's failure to promote a healthy conversation and acknowledged that the platform needs to look critically at inconsistencies in our policy and enforcement.
Dorsey said, "We made a decision with the best information we had based on threats to physical safety both on and off Twitter". He wrote, "I do not celebrate or feel pride in our having to ban @realDonaldTrump 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 further said, "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". "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", Dorsey added.
Twitter has on last week permanently banned Trump from its platform by citing the risk of further incitement of violence. It was through Twitter Trump had incited his supporters to invade and siege US Capitol Hill to stop the lawmakers from officially certifying Joe Biden as the next President. The riots from the pro-Trump mob had killed five people including the US Capitol police officers and shocked the entire world. While Twitter had banned Trump for 12 hours, it later banned and shut down his rhetoric permanently by citing he could further instigate violence.
According to Twitter, more than 70,000 harmful accounts have been suspended as a result of its efforts after the violence in Capitol Hill with many instances of a single individual operating numerous accounts. It further stated that these accounts were engaged in sharing harmful content at scale and were primarily dedicated to the propagation of conspiracy theories across the service.
Along with Twitter, YouTube and Snapchat had permanently banned Donald Trump from their platforms for the same reasons while Facebook has banned Trump until the inauguration. The inauguration will take place at the very premises of Capitol Hill, where Trump supporters invaded, on January 20 during which Joe Biden will be swearing-in as the 46th President of the United States.
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.— jack (@jack) January 14, 2021
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.— jack (@jack) January 14, 2021
This concept was challenged last week when a number of foundational internet tool providers also decided not to host what they found dangerous. I do not believe this was coordinated. More likely: companies came to their own conclusions or were emboldened by the actions of others.— jack (@jack) January 14, 2021