Twitter boss backs Donald Trump ban but warns of 'dangerous' precedent

 proxy.yoo.workers.dev  01/14/2021 02:24:03 

Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey says banning President Donald Trump from the social media platform after last week's violence at the US Capitol was the "right decision," but it sets a dangerous precedent.

San Francisco-based Twitter last week removed Mr Trump's account, which had 88 million followers, citing the risk of further violence following the storming of the Capitol by supporters of the president.

While Mr Dorsey backed the decision on Twitter on Thursday, he said having to ban an account had "real and significant ramifications".

I do not celebrate or feel pride in our having to ban @realDonaldTrump from Twitter, or how we got here. After a clear warning wed 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?

 jack (@jack) January 14, 2021

"Having to take these actions fragment the public conversation," Mr Dorsey said on Twitter. "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 ban drew criticism from some Republicans who said it quelled the president's right to free speech. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned through a spokesman that legislators, not private companies, should decide on potential curbs to free expression.

In his Twitter thread, Mr Dorsey said while he took no pride in the ban, "offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all".

Even so, he added, "While there are clear and obvious exceptions, I feel a ban is a failure of ours ultimately to promote healthy conversation."

Twitter has introduced a series of measures in the past year such as labels, warnings and distribution restrictions to reduce the need for decisions about removing content entirely from the service.

Mr Dorsey has said he believes those measures can promote more fruitful, or "healthy", conversations online and lessen the impact of bad behaviour.

The Twitter CEO said bans by social media companies on Mr Trump after last week's violence were emboldened by each other's actions even though they were not co-ordinated. But in the long term, the precedent set "will be destructive to the noble purpose and ideals of the open internet".

Supporters of Mr Trump who has repeatedly made baseless claims challenging Democrat Joe Biden's victory in the November election, stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday, trying to halt the certification by Congress of Mr Biden's Electoral College win.

On Wednesday, Mr Trump became the first president in US history to be impeached twice.

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