Twitter Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jack Dorsey on Thursday broke his silence to defend the ban on outgoing US President Donald Trump. In a series of tweets, Jack said that it was the right decision and added that offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real. Twitter last week permanently banned Trump from its platform, citing "risk of further incitement of violence". The Twitter ban came after a pro-Trump mob stormed the US Capitol, hoping to stop the certification of Joe Biden's election victory.
According to Jack, the ban revealed the platformâ€™s failure to create an open and healthy space for global conversation. The CEO however, didnâ€™t mention anything about how companies could avoid such choices in the future.
I do not celebrate or feel pride in our having to ban @realDonaldTrump from Twitter, or how we got here. After a clear warning weâ€™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?â€” jack (@jack) January 14, 2021
He blamed Twitter's failure "to promote healthy conversation," and acknowledged that Twitter needs to "look critically at inconsistencies of our policy and enforcement".
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. If folks do not agree with our rules and enforcement, they can simply go to another internet service.â€” jack (@jack) January 14, 2021
This concept was challenged last week when a number of foundational internet tool providers also decided not to host what they found dangerous. Big tech companies including Facebook, Reddit, Pinterest and YouTube suspended Trumpâ€™s account temporarily and, in some cases, permanently over the attack.
"I do not believe this was coordinated. More likely: companies came to their own conclusions or were emboldened by the actions of others," he added.
According to Twitter, more than 70,000 harmful accounts have been suspended as a result of its efforts after the violence in Washington, DC, with many instances of a single individual operating numerous accounts.
These accounts were engaged in sharing harmful content at scale and were primarily dedicated to the propagation of conspiracy theories across the service, Twitter said.
Twitter put out its reasons for removing Trump in an extensive blog post on Friday evening. It mentioned in the post that tweets from Trump could easily be interpreted as encouragement or justification to â€śreplicate the violent acts that took place on January 6, 2021.â€ť
(With IANS inputs)