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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey: Trump ban was right but sets a 'dangerous' precedent

January 14, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 52.3%. 2 min read.

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 28: CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey appears on a monitor as he testifies remotely during the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing 'Does Section 230's Sweeping Immunity Enable Big Tech Bad Behavior?', on Capitol Hill, October 28, 2020 in Washington, DC. CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey; CEO of Alphabet Inc. and its subsidiary Google LLC, Sundar Pichai; and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg all testified virtually at the hearing. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act guarantees that tech companies can not be sued for content on their platforms, but the Justice Department has suggested limiting this legislation. (Photo by Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has defended his company's decision to ban President Donald Trump, while acknowledging that the move stems from its failure to promote "healthy" conversations and sets a "dangerous" precedent.

London (CNN Business)Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has defended his company's decision to ban President Donald Trump, while acknowledging that the move stems from its failure to promote "healthy" conversations and sets a "dangerous" precedent.

"I believe this was the right decision for Twitter," Dorsey said in a series of 13 posts on his platform, citing "extraordinary and untenable" circumstances after Trump incited a riot at the US Capitol last week, an event that forced the social media company to "focus all of our actions on public safety. "

"I do not celebrate or feel pride in our having to ban @realDonaldTrump from Twitter, or how we got here," Dorsey said.

For the past four years, Twitter (TWTR) was central to Trump's presidency, a fact that also benefited the company in the form of countless hours of user engagement.

Dorsey grappled with the implications of the decision in his posts, admitting that "having to ban an account has real and significant ramifications. " Removing users, he said, fragments the public conversation and divides people.

The CEO also addressed similar actions taken by other social media companies, such as Facebook (FB) and Snapchat (SNAP), to ban the president.

These actions were not coordinated, Dorsey said, but present a challenge for the tech industry.

"The check and accountability on this power has always been the fact that a service like Twitter is one small part of the larger public conversation happening across the internet," he said.

The decision to ban the president 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.

A company making a business decision to moderate itself is different from a government removing access, yet can feel much the same," Dorsey said.

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