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World

Trump ban could set 'dangerous' precedent, according to Twitter chief

  • Twitter Chief Jack Dorsey stated that banning President Donald Trump from its social media platform, after last week's violence at the Capitol, was the "right decision", but that it sets a dangerous precedent.
  • Last week, Twitter removed the outgoing President's account, which had over 88 million followers, citing the risk of further violence being incited - in the aftermath of the storming of the Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters.
Updated 14 Jan 2021

Twitter Chief Jack Dorsey stated that banning President Donald Trump from its social media platform, after last week's violence at the Capitol, was the "right decision", but that it sets a dangerous precedent.

Last week, Twitter removed the outgoing President's account, which had over 88 million followers, citing the risk of further violence being incited - in the aftermath of the storming of the Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters.

In a statement on Twitter, Dorsey stated that "having to take these actions fragment the public conversation", adding that "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".

The ban drew criticism from Republicans, who stated that it inhibited the President's right to free speech, with even German Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned that legislators, not private companies, should decide on potential curbs to free expression.

Dorsey added in his statement, that while he took no pride in imposing the ban, "Offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all", after which he expressed that "While there are clear and obvious exceptions, I feel a ban is a failure of ours ultimately to promote healthy conversation".

Dorsey has mentioned that he believes the ban and the additional measures introduced by the platform can promote healthy conversations online, adding that bans by social media companies on Trump after last week’s violence, the precedent set “will be destructive to the noble purpose and ideals of the open internet".