Controversial Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey described the decision of removing outgoing US President Donald Trump’s account as “a failure” to promote healthy conversations.
“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,” Dorsey said late Wednesday on Twitter and asked: “Was this correct?”
Dorsey’s tweetstorm marked the first time the CEO spoke about the Trump ban which took place Friday following a 12-hour suspension on the day of the deadly US Capitol siege on Jan. 6.
“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,” he continued. “Offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all.”
In a subsequent tweet, he said: “That said, having to ban an account has real and significant ramifications. 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.”
“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,” he wrote. “A company making a business decision to moderate itself is different from a government removing access, yet can feel much the same.”
The systematic censorship has been slammed by Republicans, as well as many world leaders, but Democrats accuse the president of inciting supporters to halt Congress from confirming President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has termed the Twitter ban “problematic” and Mexican President Andres Lopez Manuel Obrador said: “It shouldn’t be allowed that a private corporation, the owner of Facebook, or the owner of Twitter, decide who has the possibility of communication and who has not.”