Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey remotely testifies during the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Senate Committee hearing on October 28, 2020, “Does Section 230’s Comprehensive Immunity Enable Bad Technical Conduct?”
Greg Nash | Pool | Reuters
Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, said Wednesday that President Donald Trump’s ban was the “right decision for Twitter” but admitted that the Internet should not be controlled by a handful of private companies.
In a series of 13 tweets, Dorsey said that online language that causes harm in the real world requires action, even if an account ban is divisive “and sets a precedent that I consider dangerous”. He wrote when a company like Twitter makes a decision that people don’t like, they can go elsewhere and check their power inherently.
Trump’s general bans following the Capitol uprising, however, heightened his concern.
“That concept was challenged last week when a number of basic internet tool vendors decided not to host what they thought was dangerous,” Dorsey wrote. “I don’t think this was coordinated. More likely, companies came to their own conclusions or were encouraged by the actions of others.”
Twitter and Facebook have deleted Trump’s account following last week’s Capitol violence instigated by the president and his comments on social media. YouTube followed on Tuesday, removing Trump’s last major online channel to reach its tens of millions of followers.
Meanwhile, the Parler app, largely used by conservatives, has been banned by Apple and Google for violent content and poor moderation control. Parler has also taken access to Amazon Web Services.
Dorsey said the inconsistent policies and lack of transparency are undermining efforts to keep the internet open.
“The reason I have so much passion for #Bitcoin is primarily because of the model it demonstrates: a fundamental Internet technology that is not controlled or influenced by any single person or entity,” Dorsey wrote. “This is what the internet wants to be, and more of it will be over time.”
He referred to an announcement made in late 2019 when Twitter said it was funding a small team called Bluesky to develop “an open decentralized standard for social media.” He said the project is now halting and will “do the job entirely through public transparency”.
CLOCK: Twitter without Trump