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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Explains Why Trump Ban Was "Right Decision", Admits It Sets "Dangerous Precedent"

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Jan 13, 2021 - 09:25 PM

Heavy is the crown.

That is probably the best way one can describe the belabored, meandering justification posted on twitter by its CEO Jack Dorsey, moments ago explaining why banning Trump was "the right decision" due to his "focusing all actions on public safety" yet one which Dorsey does not "celebrate or feel pride in." Then after several sentences oozing with "virtuously" righteous self-flagelation, Dorsey laments, without a trace of irony, that banning Trump "sets a precedent I feel is dangerous: the power an individual or corporation has over a part of the global public conversation."

He is, of course, referring to himself because, as far as we know, the buck - and the decision to ban the sitting president of the US - stops with him. Here we won't point out the immense monetary benefits twitter reaped for as long as Trump was president. It is only after he was literally one foot out of the door, that Twitter decided to play the ultimate virtue-signaling card, and succumbed to the calls so-called liberals had made for the past four years - to shut Donald Trump up. Permanently. And no, the timing of the ban is not lost on anyone.

Jack then tries to deflect blame for his decision, reverting to the oldest excuse in the book: "If folks do not agree with our rules and enforcement, they can simply go to another internet service" which of course is wonderful... until the tech and media titans which effectively control the internet gang up on said "another internet voice" and shut it down overnight... as Parler found out the hard way can happen in less than 48 hours. Jack, himself, found the irony in this approach when in the very next sentence he said that "this concept was challenged last week when a number of foundational internet tool providers also decided not to host what they found dangerous. I do not believe this was coordinated. More likely: companies came to their own conclusions or were emboldened by the actions of others."

Alas, poor yorick, er jack, it was coordinated from the very top, but we certainly appreciate your delightful attempt to feign childish innocence as you unleashed a historic purge of conservative voices on twitter, or as it is now better known, a "blue check" echo chamber.

Curiously, this was followed by moment of genuinely lucid clarity, when Jack claimed that while such a historic purge might be called for in "this moment in time... over the long term it will be destructive to the noble purpose and ideals of the open internet. A company making a business decision to moderate itself is different from a government removing access, yet can feel much the same."

Almost as if Jack anticipates that moment in the not too distant future when his Democrat friends won't be in power any more, and a far more aggressive "government" force finally shuts down twitter.

So in anticipation of such a moment, and to show his piety for his decision, Jack then veers off into the bizarre and argues that what the internet really needs, is a decentralized social media, not controlled by anyone or any thing: something like bitcoin:

The reason I have so much passion for #Bitcoin is largely because of the model it demonstrates: a foundational internet technology that is not controlled or influenced by any single individual or entity. This is what the internet wants to be, and over time, more of it will be.

Jack may be shocked to learn that just 2% of bitcoin addresses account for 95% of bitcoin holdings. Or maybe not, because in the very next sentence he admits casually that he would be delighted if he could also be in charge of said "decentralized" technology: bluesky.

Twitter is funding a small independent team of up to five open source architects, engineers, and designers to develop an open and decentralized standard for social media. The goal is for Twitter to ultimately be a client of this standard

And that in a nutshell is Jack's expiation: he may have done the wrong thing by banning Trump (even if he thinks it was the right thing), but going forward he would much rather not bear the burden of this oh so heavy crown, and would much rather pass the decision to ban the president of the US on to someone else: in this case a simple majority... one which we assume will be shadowbanned just as twitter quietly mutes out all those voices it disagrees with, as even Jack admitted to Congress when he said Twitter's shadow ban "was not impartial". But fear not: bluesky - whatever that is - will be absolutely impartial.

Jack's conclusion was the same as the conclusion of any authoritarian who faces backlash over his actions - while such backlash is still permitted - whatever happened was for the common good, to wit:

It’s important that we acknowledge this is a time of great uncertainty and struggle for so many around the world. Our goal in this moment is to disarm as much as we can, and ensure we are all building towards a greater common understanding, and a more peaceful existence on earth.

Finally, to deflect the fury unleashed by banning public conservation because a group of ideologically biased and unchecked moderators felt that it was for the "common good", Jack reverts to the oldest trick in the book: claiming that the only way out of the mess he created is by pretending it never happened: 

I believe the internet and global public conversation is our best and most relevant method of achieving this. I also recognize it does not feel that way today. Everything we learn in this moment will better our effort, and push us to be what we are: one humanity working together.

Good luck with that, Jack.

* * *

His full twitted statement is below:

I do not celebrate or feel pride in our having to ban @realDonaldTrump from Twitter, or how we got here. After a clear warning we’d take this action, we made a decision with the best information we had based on threats to physical safety both on and off Twitter. Was this correct?

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.

That said, having to ban an account has real and significant ramifications. While there are clear and obvious exceptions, I feel a ban is a failure of ours ultimately to promote healthy conversation. And a time for us to reflect on our operations and the environment around us.
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.

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. If folks do not agree with our rules and enforcement, they can simply go to another internet service.

This concept was challenged last week when a number of foundational internet tool providers also decided not to host what they found dangerous. I do not believe this was coordinated. More likely: companies came to their own conclusions or were emboldened by the actions of others.

This moment in time might call for this dynamic, but over the long term it will be destructive to the noble purpose and ideals of the open internet. A company making a business decision to moderate itself is different from a government removing access, yet can feel much the same.

Yes, we all need to look critically at inconsistencies of our policy and enforcement. Yes, we need to look at how our service might incentivize distraction and harm. Yes, we need more transparency in our moderation operations. All this can’t erode a free and open global internet.

The reason I have so much passion for #Bitcoin is largely because of the model it demonstrates: a foundational internet technology that is not controlled or influenced by any single individual or entity. This is what the internet wants to be, and over time, more of it will be.

We are trying to do our part by funding an initiative around an open decentralized standard for social media. Our goal is to be a client of that standard for the public conversation layer of the internet. We call it @bluesky:

This will take time to build. We are in the process of interviewing and hiring folks, looking at both starting a standard from scratch or contributing to something that already exists. No matter the ultimate direction, we will do this work completely through public transparency.

It’s important that we acknowledge this is a time of great uncertainty and struggle for so many around the world. Our goal in this moment is to disarm as much as we can, and ensure we are all building towards a greater common understanding, and a more peaceful existence on earth.

I believe the internet and global public conversation is our best and most relevant method of achieving this. I also recognize it does not feel that way today. Everything we learn in this moment will better our effort, and push us to be what we are: one humanity working together.

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