Dorsey weighs in on Twitter bans after Musk says Trump’s would be lifted
Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said he does not believe there should be permanent bans on the platform, with limited exceptions, after Elon Musk said Tuesday he would reverse Twitter’s ban of former President Trump following the completion of his acquisition.
“Musk says @jack agrees with him that there shouldn’t be permanent bans on individual Twitter users. Reminder that Dorsey was CEO when such bans were implemented,” Dan Primack, Axios business editor, tweeted on Tuesday.
Dorsey responded in his own tweet, writing, “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).”
His statement quote-tweeted a statement he wrote in January 2021, after Twitter barred Trump from the platform following the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot, in which a mob of Trump supporters, fueled by the former president’s baseless claims about the 2020 election, sought to stop Congress from certifying the results.
Twitter cited concerns that more violence could be spurred on by Trump’s tweets. Dorsey defended the decision at the time, saying “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.”
But he also added that “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.”
Musk said earlier on Tuesday during the Financial Times’s “Future of the Car” event that he would allow the former president back on, when his acquisition of the company is completed, saying he believed Twitter’s decision at the time was “a mistake.”
“It alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice,” he said.
The executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said in a statement that the organization also believes Trump should be allowed back on the social media platform.
“Like it or not, President Trump is one of the most important political figures in this country, and the public has a strong interest in hearing his speech. Indeed, some of Trump’s most offensive tweets ended up being critical evidence in lawsuits filed against him and his administration. And we should know — we filed over 400 legal actions against him,” said the ACLU’s executive director, Anthony Romero.