Thursday, 28 January, 2021

Twitter co-founder defends ban issued to Donald Trump

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testifying before Congress Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testifying before Congress
Cecil Davis | 14 January, 2021, 13:45

"Having to take these actions fragment the public conversation". But even after he leaves the White House, a Senate conviction of Trump could lead to a vote on banning him from running for office again.

He further said that a ban was the platform's failure to promote "healthy conversation" and talked about the platform's policy and said that it was time for Twitter to "reflect" on its operations.

San Francisco-based Twitter last week removed Mr Trump's account, which had 88 million followers, citing the risk of further violence following the storming of the Capitol by supporters of the president.

"Having to ban an account has real and significant ramifications", Dorsey said in a string of tweets inviting feedback from users.

Dorsey addressed that issue in his statement, saying, "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". This was the first time the Twitter CEO publicly addressed removing Trump from his platform.

He has previously said he wants to repeal Section 230, a law protecting social media companies from being sued for the things people post.

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".

Trump was impeached by the US House of Representatives on Wednesday for "incitement of insurrection", related to last week's Capitol riots.

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Dorsey went on to express concern over the actions of Amazon, Apple and Google, which took Twitter competitor offline over the weekend after it became a haven for Trump supporters.

Dorsey's assessment of Twitter's Trump ban raises some interesting points, but it feels as though Dorsey would rather be heading a decentralized network where he ultimately doesn't have to (or cannot) make that decision.

Dorsey concluded with, "It's important that we acknowledge this is a time of great uncertainty and struggle for so many around the world". The suspension came with a warning that future violations of the company's "Civic Integrity or Violent threats policies" by the president would result in a permanent suspension of his account.

The Twitter CEO also noted that he did not believe social media platforms and tech companies' collective actions against the president were "coordinated".

But in the long term, the precedent set "will be destructive to the noble goal and ideals of the open internet", he said.

Trump was banned from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and other social media platforms on January 7 after he was blamed for inciting supporters to storm the Capitol building, resulting in the death of four individuals.

"We are continuing our work to ensure hate group members are not part of the Airbnb community", the company said in a corporate blog.