At the same time, Dorsey said the ban also reflected “a failure on our part to promote healthy conversation.” (Twitter spent a large part last two years trying to figure out how to make his platform ‘healthier’.) He added that he believed Twitter’s move set a ‘dangerous’ precedent that an individual or business had on some part of the global public conversation .
Having to take these actions fragments the public conversation. They divide us. They limit the potential for clarification, redemption, and learning. And sets a precedent that seems dangerous to me: the power that an individual or company has over part of the global public conversation.
– jack (@jack) January 14, 2021
Dorsey also rebuffed criticism that the company was indulging in censorship, writing that “a company that makes the business decision to moderate is different from a government removing access. He also clarified that Twitter had not coordinated with other companies that have also banned or suspended Trump in recent days.
You can read his full comments below:
“I’m not happy and proud of having to ban @realDonaldTrump from Twitter, nor of how we got here. After a clear warning, we took this action, we made a decision with the best information we had based on the physical security threats on and off Twitter. Was this correct? I think it was the right move for Twitter. We were faced with an extraordinary and untenable circumstance, which forces us to focus all our actions on public safety. The offline harm resulting from online talk is clearly real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all else.
That said, banning an account has real and significant ramifications. While there are clear and obvious exceptions, I think a ban is a failure of ours to promote healthy conversation. And a moment for us to reflect on our operations and the environment around us. Having to take these actions fragments the public conversation. They divide us. They limit the potential for clarification, redemption, and learning. And sets a precedent that seems dangerous to me: the power that an individual or company has over part of the global public conversation. The control and responsibility for this power has always been the fact that a service like Twitter is a small part of the larger public conversation that takes place on the Internet.
If people don’t agree with our rules and our application, they can just go to another internet service. This concept was called into question last week when a number of core internet tool vendors also decided not to host what they deemed unsafe. I don’t think it was coordinated. More likely: Companies came to their own conclusions or were encouraged by the actions of others. This moment in time might require that dynamic, but in the long run it will be destructive to the lofty goal and ideals of the Open Internet. A company making the business decision to moderate is different from a government removing access, but it can feel the same. Yes, we all need to critically examine the inconsistencies in our policy and its application. Yes, we need to consider how our service can incite distraction and prejudice. Yes, we need more transparency in our moderation operations. All of this cannot erode a free and open global Internet.
The reason I have so much passion for #Bitcoin is in large part because of the model it demonstrates: a fundamental internet technology that is not controlled or influenced by a single person or entity. This is what the Internet wants to be, and over time it will be more and more of it. We’re trying to do our part by funding an initiative around an open decentralized standard for social media. Our goal is to be a customer of this standard for the Internet’s public conversation layer. We call it @bluesky.
It will take time to build. We’re interviewing and hiring people, looking both to start from scratch or to contribute to something that already exists. Regardless of the final direction, we will do this work entirely through public transparency. It is important that we recognize that we are living in a time of great uncertainty and struggle for so many around the world. Our goal right now is to disarm as much as we can and to ensure that we all build towards a greater common understanding and a more peaceful existence on earth. I think the internet and global public conversation is our best and most relevant way to achieve this. I also agree that this is not the case today. Everything we learn right now will enhance our efforts and push us to be who we are: one humanity working together.