Jack Dorsey, the Chief Executive Officer of Twitter, has defended the microblogging site’s decision to permanently suspended the account of the outgoing US President, Donald Trump, saying it was the right thing to do.
He, however, admitted that the decision has “significant ramifications”, noting that it sets a “dangerous” precedent.
Expressing his thoughts on the development in a long Twitter thread on Thursday, Twitter’s chief said he did not celebrate or feel pride in the ban – which came after the Capitol riot last week.
Dorsey acknowledged that the ban was, in part, a failure of Twitter, which, according to him, had not done enough to foster “healthy conversation” across its platforms.
He reiterated that removing the president from Twitter was made after “a clear warning” to President Trump.
“We made a decision with the best information we had based on threats to physical safety both on and off Twitter,” Mr Dorsey said.
He also accepted that the move would have consequences for an open and free internet.
He also addressed criticism that just a handful of tech bosses can make decisions on who does and doesn’t have a voice on the internet – and on accusations of censorship.
President Trump’s account was permanently banned by Twitter last Friday following the riot on the US Capitol last week Wednesday which left five people, including a police officer, dead.
According to the company, the US President violated its glorification of violence policy with his two tweets last Friday, which it said were “being interpreted as further indication that President Trump does not plan to facilitate an ‘orderly transition’” and “being received by a number of his supporters as further confirmation that the election was not legitimate” respectively.
The decision to remove users, posts and tweets has been criticised by some for violating First Amendment – free speech – rights.
However, big tech firms generally argue that as they are private companies, and not state actors, this law does not apply when they moderate their platforms.
Facebook and YouTube have taken steps to silence the president, while Amazon shut down Parler, an app widely used by his supporters.
Now Snapchat has also announced that Mr Trump will be permanently banned from its platform too.