American News Jan 14, 2021 2:35 PM EST

Jack Dorsey defends Twitter's Trump ban but admits it sets a 'dangerous' precedent

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey spoke about the company's decision to ban President Donald Trump from the platform following the Capitol Hill riot on Jan. 6.

Jack Dorsey defends Twitter's Trump ban but admits it sets a 'dangerous' precedent
Ari Hoffman Seattle, WA
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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey spoke about the company's decision to ban President Donald Trump from the platform following the Capitol Hill riot on Jan. 6, saying "I do not celebrate or feel pride in our having to ban @realDonaldTrump, 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," Dorsey continued.

"Was this correct?" He asked.

"I believe this was the right decision for Twitter," the CEO said. "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," Dorsey wrote. "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."

Dorsey said that the company's actions "fragment the public conversation," "divide us" and "limit the potential for clarification, redemption, and learning" and admitted that the power of his platform in the "global public conversation" has set a "dangerous" precedent.

"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," Dorsey said. "If folks do not agree with our rules and enforcement, they can simply go to another internet service."

With regards to accussations of collusion between Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, all of which took action to ban the president from their platforms, Dorsey said "I do not believe this was coordinated."

"This moment in time might call for this dynamic, but over the long term it will be destructive to the noble purpose and ideals of the open internet," Dorsey said.

"A company making a business decision to moderate itself is different from a government removing access, yet can feel much the same. Yes, we all need to look critically at inconsistencies of our policy and enforcement. Yes, we need to look at how our service might incentivize distraction and harm. Yes, we need more transparency in our moderation operations. All this can’t erode a free and open global internet."

"It’s important that we acknowledge this is a time of great uncertainty and struggle for so many around the world. Our goal in this moment is to disarm as much as we can, and ensure we are all building towards a greater common understanding, and a more peaceful existence on earth," Dorsey continued. "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."

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