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    Thursday, January 14, 2021

    Twitter CEO: Banning Trump Was Right But Sets 'Dangerous' Precedent

    Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, in a series of tweets, wrote that banning outgoing US President Donald Trump from the platform was the right decision because of the offline harm that was caused due to online speech. Twitter, which has flagged multiple of Trump’s tweets in the past for inciting violence permanently suspended his account on January 8, shortly after the Capitol riots that wreaked havoc in the US. Trump's account, which had 88 million followers was suspended from Twitter due to the risk of further incitement of violence.

    "I believe this was the right decision for Twitter. We faced an extraordinary and untenable circumstance, forcing us to focus all of our actions on public safety. Offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all," Dorsey wrote.

    "Having to take these actions fragment the public conversation. 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," he added.

    Twitter has flagged and labelled multiple tweets from Donald Trump in the past for inciting violence or sharing manipulative media. Dorsey noted that the check and accountability of power has always been the fact that a service like Twitter is one small part of the larger public conversation happening across the internet. "If folks do not agree with our rules and enforcement, they can simply go to another internet service," he wrote. Dorsey confirmed that the bans by social media companies on Trump after Capitol’s violence were not coordinated.

    Trump has been permanently banned from Facebook and Snapchat and is also facing a ban on Instagram and YouTube. His subreddits have been removed from Reddit and he is also banned from Twitch and Tiktok. Trump on Tuesday told reporters that the social media sites had made a catastrophic mistake and acted in a politically divisive manner after punishing him for comments the companies said threatened to incite violence.

    Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol on January 6, trying to halt the certification by Congress of Biden's Electoral College win. 5 people died in the Capitol violence and left its lawmakers on lockdown.

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