Banning Trump from Twitter sets a 'dangerous' precedent, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey says (TWTR)
By: Business Insider
January 14, 2021 at 11:14 AM EST
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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey worries that taking action to permanently suspend President Donald Trump from the platform "sets a precedent I feel is dangerous: the power an individual or corporation has over a part of the global public conversation."
Dorsey called the ban "a failure of ours" in a series of tweets Wednesday night. "Having to take these actions fragment the public conversation. They divide us," he said.
His comments came exactly a week after mob of pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol building and broke in on Wednesday, January 6. Five people died during the attempted insurrection, including a US Capitol police officer, and dozens more were injured.
Dorsey explained the decision to ban Trump as a forced action due to the offline effect of Trump's words. "Offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all," he said. "I believe this was the right decision for Twitter."
Prior to January 6, Trump repeatedly used his massive footprint on Twitter to promote the "Save America" protest event. "Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!" Trump tweeted in late December.
On the day of the event, Trump spoke to his supporters in person. "We're going to walk down to the Capitol, and we're going to cheer on our brave senators, and congressmen and women," he said. "We're probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them, because you'll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong."
As the attack was happening, the president took to Twitter to address his supporters: "These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long," he said in a tweet that was later removed.
Trump's Twitter account was permanently suspended by Friday evening. When Trump attempted to use other accounts associated with his office and political campaign, such as @POTUS and @TeamTrump, those messages were removed by Twitter.
Twitter's policing of the sitting US President's Twitter account is unprecedented, and marks a major shift in moderation from Trump's favorite social media company.
Twitter was among several major tech platforms to suspend or ban Trump's use following the attack on the US Capitol by pro-Trump rioters. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Twitch, and Instagram all enacted some form of ban on Trump, and tech platforms that were used in part to organize the attack — such as Parler and Gab — are also facing bans.
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