Twitter CEO posts 13 tweet long thread on decision to ban Trump from platform

‘We made a decision with the best information we had based on threats to physical safety both on and off Twitter,’ CEO says

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey took to his own platform to discuss the company’s decision-making processes for banning President Donald Trump on Wednesday.

The social media application made history by banning the president and set off a wave of technology companies and web-based applications that have since banned the president from their own sites, including Google and Tiktok.

In a thread of 13 Tweets, Dorsey explained his rationale for banning trump and speculated why others in the technology and social media industry followed suit.

“I do not celebrate or feel pride in our having to ban @realDonaldTrump from Twitter, or how we got here,” Dorsey wrote in the thread. “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?”

Dorsey wrote that he believed the decision to ban Trump from the platform was best for the company and the world. Even after suspending Trump’s account, Dorsey said he blamed himself and the company.

“That said, having to ban an account has real and significant ramifications,” Dorsey said in the thread. “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.”

According to Dorsey, actions like banning or suspending public accounts do more to fragment an already divided population of users.

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

Over the long haul, Dorsey said he, and society at large, needs to take a step back and consider inconsistencies in policy enforcement.

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

At face value, Dorsey said this plan goes hand in hand with created a decentralized version of the application free from any and all government or private interference and moderated by the people, for the people—similar to how the Bitcoin ledger is kept. The company unveiled the idea as project Bluesky on Dec. 11, 2019.

“This will take time to build. We are in the process of interviewing and hiring folks, looking at both starting a standard from scratch or contributing to something that already exists,” Dorsey said in the thread. “No matter the ultimate direction, we will do this work completely through public transparency.”

Dorsey said as the company learns from mistakes and actions taken, it will develop and push both humanity and itself to work together.

“I believe the internet and global public conversation is our best and most relevant method of achieving this,” Dorsey said in the thread. “I also recognize it does not feel that way today. Everything we learn in this moment will better our effort, and push us to be what we are: one humanity working together.”

Related: Twitter bans Trump, citing risk of violent incitement

About the Author:

Jakob Rodriguez is a digital journalist at KSAT 12. He's a graduate of Texas State University, where he served as the editor-in-chief of the student-run newspaper, The University Star.