“I’m not celebrating and I’m not proud of banning @realDonaldTrump from Twitter or how we got here,” Dorsey said. “The harm caused by online speaking offline can be shown to be demonstrably real, and it drives our policy and implementation above all else.”
In her comments, Dorsey struggled with the consequences of the decision, acknowledging that “there are real and significant consequences to banning an account.” Removing users, he says, breaks up public conversation and shares people.
“While there are clear and obvious exceptions, I feel that the ban is ultimately a failure to promote healthy conversation. And it’s time to rethink our operations and the environment around us,” he said.
“The control and accountability of this force has always been that a service like Twitter is a small part of a larger public conversation on the internet,” he said. “If people don’t agree with our rules and enforcement, they can simply turn to another Internet service.”
“This concept was debated last week when a number of founding internet device providers also decided not to host what they found to be dangerous,” he continued.
The president’s decision to ban him from Twitter had immediate consequences: Trump lost access to more than 88 million followers, and the move exposed the company to censorship complaints from Republicans. Democrats blew up the role of social media in empowering Trump and warned of new legislation to regulate the technology industry.
In her post, Dorsey suggested that actions by the technology industry could have longer-term consequences.
“This moment may require this dynamic, but in the long run it will have a devastating effect on the noble purpose and ideals of the open internet. A company that makes a business decision to mitigate is different from a government removing access, yet I feel the same way.” Dorsey said.
“Yes, we all need to critically examine the inconsistencies in our policies and implementation. Yes, we need to look at how our service can encourage distraction and harm. Yes, we need more transparency in our moderation operations. All this should not undermine a free and open global internet” – he added.
– Brian Fung contributed to the report.