Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey today spoke out regarding the ban of Donald Trump’s personal profile.
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. Was this correct?
— jack (@jack) January 14, 2021
First of all, he wanted to specify that he is not at all proud of this ban, and that he certainly did not celebrate it.
However, without mincing words, he clearly states that he considers this to be the right decision for Twitter.
In fact, Dorsey claims that the company was practically forced to ban that profile, for the continuous violation of its policies. He also points out that the ban was not imposed out of the blue, but after sending a clear warning to the profile’s operator that similar action would be taken in the event of a repeat offence.
“We made a decision with the best information we had based on threats to physical safety both on and off Twitter”.
Dorsey calls this an “extraordinary and untenable circumstance” that forced the company to focus all actions on the issue of public safety.
“Offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all”.
But, in addition to the explanations justifying the incident, Dorsey said more.
In fact, Dorsey defines the bans as “a failure of ours ultimately to promote healthy conversation”, although it is hard to understand how Twitter can be responsible for what its users tweet.
Jack Dorsey: the ban against Trump, a dangerous precedent
However, perhaps the most interesting thing Dorsey tweeted regarding this matter is the clear and explicit admission that a case like this sets a dangerous precedent that highlights the power that a single individual or company has over a portion of the global public conversation.
The CEO of Twitter points out that until now the problem was much less serious due to the fact that the ban on a platform did not mean the total block of all other accounts on other platforms. The problem, however, is that in the case of Trump, this is exactly what happened in the end.
According to Dorsey, these bans were not coordinated between the various platforms, but they eventually came to the same conclusions either independently, or encouraged by the actions of third parties.
Such a scenario could in the long run prove destructive to the noble purpose and ideals of an open internet.
In this regard, he introduces an explicit reference to Bitcoin in this reflection, writing:
“The reason I have so much passion for Bitcoin is largely because of the model it demonstrates: a foundational internet technology that is not controlled or influenced by any single individual or entity. This is what the internet wants to be, and over time, more of it will be”.
He then mentions a new open decentralized standard for social networks that the Twitter team is working on. It is very likely that this standard was somehow inspired by the success of Bitcoin, and could be proposed in the future as an alternative to the current centralized system.