Twitter CEO defends ban on Trump, admits need for transparency in moderation
First Published Jan 14, 2021, 8:59 AM IST
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has defended the micro-blogging site's decision to ban US President Donald Trump from the platform over his provocative posts that led to the Capitol Hill siege. He also admitted that there were inconsistencies in its policy and enforcement.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has defended the micro-blogging site's decision to ban US President Donald Trump from the platform over his provocative posts that led to the Capitol Hill siege.
In a series of tweets, Dorsey 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."
"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," Jack Dorsey said.
Dorsey further said, "I do not celebrate or feel pride in our having to ban (Donald Trump) from Twitter, or how we got here. After a clear warning, we would 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," he added.
Dorsey admits policy and enforcement inconsistencies
The Twitter CEO also admitted that there were inconsistencies in its policy and enforcement.
"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," Dorsey said.
"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," he added.
Recalling last week's Capitol Hill siege, Dorsey said that a number of "foundational internet tool providers 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," he said.
"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."
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