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Twitter CEO defends banning Trump, but acknowledges 'dangerous' precedent

Twitter-CEO Statement-Trump Ban
Posted at 1:39 PM, Jan 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-14 13:39:22-05

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is defending the social network’s decision to ban President Donald Trump, but says he doesn’t “celebrate or feel pride” in doing so.

In a string of tweets, Dorsey said Wednesday evening that he believes permanently suspending Trump’s account last Friday was the right decision after the president repeatedly broke the platform’s rules. He said the decision was made based on threats to physical safety both on and off Twitter.

“We faced an extraordinary and untenable circumstance, forcing us to focus all of our actions on public safety,” wrote Dorsey. “Offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all.”

Dorsey acknowledged that banning an account as big as Trump’s has real and significant ramifications. And while there are clear exceptions, he said he feels a ban is ultimately “a failure” by the company to promote healthy conversation.

He also said having to take these actions can fragment public conversation and divide us.

“They limit the potential for clarification, redemption, and learning,” he said. “And sets a precedent I feel is dangerous: the power an individual or corporation has over a part of the global public conversation.”

Dorsey said if people don’t agree with Twitter’s rules and enforcement, they can go to another internet service. However, Twitter isn’t alone. Many websites kicked Trump and others off of their platforms, saying they incite violence. Dorsey wrote that he doesn’t believe the moves were coordinated, but companies likely came to their own conclusions or were emboldened by the actions of others.

“It’s important that we acknowledge this is a time of great uncertainty and struggle for so many around the world,” wrote Dorsey. “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.”

Read all of Dorsey’s tweets here.