Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey took to his social media platform Wednesday evening to issue a lengthy thread in response to the controversial banning of Trump's personal account.
"I do not celebrate or feel pride in our having to ban @realDonaldTrump from Twitter, or how we got here," Dorsey laid out. "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."
The Twitter CEO emphasized that he stands by Twitter's decision, as the platform "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," he said.
At the same time, he noted that there are "real and significant ramifications" to the banning of an account - especially one with more than 88 million followers, highlighting that he believes that the move constitutes a "dangerous" precedent.
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.— jack (@jack) January 14, 2021
Dorsey admitted that the company needs to "look critically at inconsistencies of our policy and enforcement," examine "how our service might incentivize distraction and harm" and provide "more transparency in our moderation operations. All this can’t erode a free and open global internet."
According to the Twitter CEO, his platform will attempt to achieve these goals in 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," he announced.
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.— jack (@jack) January 14, 2021
Dorsey's comments came around an hour after the US president informally returned to Twitter via a video tweeted by the official White House account.
Speaking on a number of issues, Trump took the time to suggest that tech companies and their platforms are committing an "unprecedented assault on free speech.”
January 13, 2021
“The efforts to censor, cancel and blacklist our fellow citizens are wrong and they are dangerous,” Trump stated in the White House video tweet. “What is needed now is for us to listen to one another, not to silence one another.”
On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives voted to impeach the outgoing US president a second time, after accusing him of "incitement of insurrection". The charge is connected to a January 6 POTUS speech in the presence of supporters prior to a deadly protest at the US Capitol building later in the day that became a violent attack causing five deaths and widespread damage and vandalism.
Trump refuted the accusations as "a hoax", while issuing calls for his supporters to avoid violent behaviour.