Twitter right on Trump ban, says Dorsey

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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has said his social media platform made the right decision with the ban it enforced on the personal account of US President Donald Trump.

Trump’s account was banned after a mob invaded the US Capitol where Congress was debating to affirm the result of the presidential election of November 3, 2020, which was won by President-elect Joe Biden.

The President was accused of inciting the mob with claims that the election was marred by widespread voter fraud.

Five people including two police officers lost their lives during the January 6 invasion by the mob which later got forced out by men of the National Guard.

“After a close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” Twitter said in a statement issued after enforcing the ban on Trump’s account.

Shedding more light on why Twitter took the decision, which also affected 70,000 pro-Trump accounts, Dorsey said the platform is concerned about the offline harm driven by online speech.

He advised those who don’t agree with Twitter’s rules and enforcement to go to another internet service.

He said, “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?

“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. Offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all.

“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.

“Having to take these actions fragment the public conversation. They divide us. They limit the potential for clarification, redemption, and learning. And sets a precedent I feel is dangerous: the power an individual or corporation has over a part of the global public conversation.

“The check and accountability on this power have always been the fact that a service like Twitter is one small part of the larger public conversation happening across the internet. If folks do not agree with our rules and enforcement, they can simply go to another internet service.

“This concept was challenged last week when a number of foundational internet tool providers also decided not to host what they found dangerous. I do not believe this was coordinated. More likely: companies came to their own conclusions or were emboldened by the actions of others.

“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. A company making a business decision to moderate itself is different from a government removing access, yet can feel much the same.

“Yes, we all need to look critically at inconsistencies of our policy and enforcement. Yes, we need to look at how our service might incentivize distraction and harm. Yes, we need more transparency in our moderation operations. All this can’t erode a free and open global internet.”

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