In his first personal statement since Twitter’s suspension of Donald Trump, Jack Dorsey attempted to justify banning the president of the United States.
Dorsey’s statement came in the form of a tweet thread Wednesday, one week after the chaos at the US Capitol building.
His first sentence, particularly its first clause, is something very difficult to believe: “I do not celebrate or feel pride in our having to ban @realDonaldTrump from Twitter, or how we got here.” Yeah, okay…
“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 asked.
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Rhetorical question. Of course he thinks it was 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.”
The next few tweets in Dorsey’s thread acknowledge how serious it is to ban an account and that Twitter itself should take some blame for failing “to promote healthy conversation.”
“That said, having to ban an account has real and significant ramifications,” he said. “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.”
Dorsey continues by announcing his commitment to a “free and open global internet” while suggesting that Twitter ought to do a better job at consistently enforcing its policies, recognizing that it plays a significant role in incentivizing “distraction and harm,” and acting more transparently when it comes to moderation. He then chooses at this point in the thread to plug his interest in Bitcoin and funding an “open decentralized standard for social media.” Thanks but no thanks, bro.
And finally, mercifully, Dorsey concludes with the following: “It’s important that we acknowledge this is a time of great uncertainty and struggle for so many around the world. Our goal in this moment is to disarm as much as we can, and ensure we are all building towards a greater common understanding, and a more peaceful existence on earth. I believe the internet and global public conversation is our best and most relevant method of achieving this. 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.”
Are you buying what he’s selling? Picking up what he’s putting down? Doesn’t seem like too many in his replies are:
— Gab.com (@getongab) January 14, 2021
Stop being a coward Jack, and do some interviews on conservative media to face some questions about what you’ve done.
— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) January 14, 2021
were so sure of your decision when it came to someone with a varying political belief. Just like the politicians were under siege, hundreds of thousands of Americans were under siege by vandals, looters, and thugs who were intertwined within the mix of genuine protestors.
— Work It (@OdetoPump) January 14, 2021
Look at your stock price dude. There is your answer.
— Taylor Miles (@tayloramiles) January 14, 2021
Well we aren’t either.