Twitter CEO: Trump Ban Represents a 'Failure'

But Jack Dorsey says it was still the right move
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2021 2:00 AM CST
Twitter CEO: Banning Trump Sets a 'Dangerous Precedent'
In this Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020, file photo, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey appears on a screen as he speaks remotely during a hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee on Capitol Hill, in Washington.   (Michael Reynolds/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Jack Dorsey mused in a long Twitter thread Wednesday over one question: Was the social media network's banning of President Trump the right move? Ultimately, the Twitter CEO says that it was, because "offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real," and there were safety threats to consider. Even so, Dorsey acknowledges the ban also represents "a failure of ours ultimately to promote healthy conversation," and offers "a time for us to reflect on our operations and the environment around us." He adds, "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." (Take a look at other sites that have taken similar actions here and here.)

When one site bans a person, typically they are still able to participate in that conversation via other sites. Not so this time: "A number of foundational internet tool providers also decided not to host what they found dangerous," Dorsey tweets. "I do not believe this was coordinated. More likely: companies came to their own conclusions or were emboldened by the actions of others." While this was likely the right move for this moment in time, he warns against allowing it to become the norm. "Over the long term it will be destructive to the noble purpose and ideals of the open internet," he writes. "A company making a business decision to moderate itself is different from a government removing access, yet can feel much the same." Snapchat became the latest site to permanently ban Trump Wednesday, CNN reports, after having initially suspended him. (More Twitter stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.