Jack Dorsey on Donald Trump's ban on Twitter: "Was that proper?"
Dorsey's 13 tweet thread on Wednesday night ranged from defending the ban, to the lawsuit about its impact on public speaking, to promoting Bluesky, the initiative to create an open decentralized standard for social media that he launched in December 2019.
I'm not celebrating and I'm not proud of the need to ban @realDonaldTrump from Twitter or how we got here. After a clear warning that we would take this action, we made a decision based on the best information we had due to physical security threats on and off Twitter. Was that right?
– jack (@jack) January 14, 2021
He started with, “I'm not celebrating and I'm not proud of the need to ban @realDonaldTrump from Twitter or how we got here. After a clear warning that we would take this action, we made a decision based on the best information we had due to physical security threats on and off Twitter. Was that right? I think that was the right decision for Twitter. We were faced with an extraordinary and untenable circumstance that forced us to focus all of our actions on public safety. Offline damage from online speech is proven to be real and, above all, determines our policies and enforcement. "
Dorsey then lamented the effects of the ban, calling it a failure by Twitter to promote healthy conversation, and said actions of this nature “fragment the public conversation. They share us. They limit the potential for clarification, redemption, and learning. And they have set a precedent that I consider dangerous: the power that an individual or a company has over some part of global public conversation. "
He said that while the decision of Twitter and other platforms is prudent now and in the short term, "it will in the long run destroy the noble purpose and ideals of the open internet."
Building on the theme of the open internet, he said of Bluesky: “It will take some time to build. We are in the process of interviewing and hiring people and trying to start a standard from scratch or contribute to something that already exists. Regardless of the final direction, we will do this work entirely through public transparency. "
Dorsey concluded, "It is important that we recognize that this is a time of great uncertainty and struggle for so many people around the world. Our goal right now is to disarm and make sure as much as possible we are all working towards a greater common understanding and a more peaceful existence on earth. I believe the internet and global public conversation are our best and most relevant way to achieve this. I also realize that it doesn't feel that way today. Everything we learn in this moment will improve our efforts and make us who we are: a humanity that works together. "