Former Twitter CEO reacts to Musk’s plan to unban Trump
Twitter co-founder, Jack Dorsey, generally agrees that there should not be permanent suspensions of individual users on the platform. He let this be known after billionaire Elon Musk, who now owns Twitter, promised to reverse the ban on former US President Donald Trump that Dorsey endorsed.
Dorsey tweeted on Tuesday: “generally permanent bans are a failure of ours and don’t work,” listing exceptions like child sexual exploitation, spam, “network manipulation,” and other “illegal behavior.”
However, he also quote-tweeted his statement following the January 6 riot at the Capitol, in which he tried to explain how the controversial move to silence the president “was the right decision,” driven by “the best information we had based on threats to physical safety both on and off Twitter.”
I do agree. There are exceptions (CSE, illegal behaviour, spam or network manipulation, etc), but generally permanent bans are a failure of ours and don't work, which I wrote about here after the event (and called for a resilient social media protocol): https://t.co/fQ9KnrCQGX— jack⚡️ (@jack) May 10, 2022
“If folks do not agree with our rules and enforcement, they can simply go to another internet service,” he said at the time. He admitted that finding an alternative may prove to be hard “when a number of foundational internet tool providers also decided not to host what they found dangerous,” but denied the effort to silence conservative voices was in any way “coordinated.”
Trump was banned almost simultaneously from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other mainstream social media platforms while still in office, supposedly out of concern that his tweets about alleged voter fraud in the 2020 election would pose the “risk of further incitement of violence.”
“I would reverse the permanent ban,” Musk said on Tuesday at the Financial Times Future of the Car summit, calling it a “morally bad decision… and foolish in the extreme,” which “alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice.”
Trump, however, has insisted he will not return to Twitter even if his account, which had around 89 million followers, is reinstated, saying he will instead use his own platform, Truth Social.
Dorsey stepped down as Twitter CEO last November, tapping CTO Parag Agrawal to take his place. Last month, Musk reached a yet-to-be-finalized deal to purchase Twitter for $44 billion, a move some believe will herald a return to the days of more open discussion, given his self-characterization as a “free speech absolutist.”