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Twitter CEO defends Trump ban, warns of harmful precedent

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FILE – On this Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020, file photograph, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey seems on a display as he speaks remotely throughout a listening to earlier than the Senate Commerce Committee on Capitol Hill, in Washington. Dorsey broke his silence to defend his firm’s ban of President Donald Trump as the proper determination, however warned that it might set a harmful precedent. The ban, he mentioned, revealed Twitter’s “failure” to create an open and wholesome house for what Dorsey calls the “international public dialog.” (Michael Reynolds/Pool Picture through AP, File)
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey defended his company’s ban of President Donald Trump in a philosophical Twitter thread that’s his first public assertion on the topic.

When Trump incited his followers to storm the U.S. Capitol final week, then continued to tweet probably ominous messages, Dorsey mentioned the ensuing threat to public security created an “extraordinary and untenable circumstance” for the corporate. Having already briefly suspended Trump’s account the day of the Capitol riot, Twitter on Friday banned Trump entirely, then smacked down the president’s makes an attempt to tweet utilizing different accounts.

“I don’t rejoice or really feel delight in our having to ban @realDonaldTrump from Twitter,“ Dorsey wrote. However he added: ”I consider this was the proper determination for Twitter.”

Dorsey acknowledged that reveals of power just like the Trump ban might set harmful precedents, even calling them an indication of “failure.” Though not in so many phrases, Dorsey recommended that Twitter wants to seek out methods to keep away from having to make such choices within the first place. Precisely how that may work isn’t clear, though it might vary from earlier and more practical moderation to a basic restructuring of social networks.

In Dorsey-speak, which means Twitter must work more durable to “promote wholesome dialog.”

Excessive measures comparable to banning Trump additionally spotlight the extraordinary energy that Twitter and different Large Tech corporations can wield with out accountability or recourse, Dorsey wrote.

Whereas Twitter was grappling with the issue of Trump, for example, Apple, Google and Amazon had been successfully shutting down the right-wing site Parler by denying it entry to app shops and cloud-hosting providers. The businesses charged that Parler wasn’t aggressive sufficient about eradicating calls to violence, which Parler has denied.

Dorsey declined to criticize his Large Tech counterparts straight, even noting that “this second in time would possibly name for this dynamic.” Over the long run, nonetheless, he recommended that aggressive and domineering conduct might threaten the “noble objective and beliefs” of the open web by entrenching the facility of some organizations over a commons that ought to be accessible to everybody.

The Twitter co-founder, nonetheless, had little particular to say about how his platform or different Large Tech corporations might keep away from such decisions sooner or later. As an alternative, he touched on an concept that, taken actually, sounds a bit like the tip of Twitter itself — a long-term undertaking to develop a technological “commonplace” that might liberate social networks from centralized management by the likes of Fb and Twitter.

However for the second, Dorsey wrote, Twitter’s purpose “is to disarm as a lot as we are able to, and guarantee we’re all constructing in the direction of a better widespread understanding, and a extra peaceable existence on earth.”


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