It’s no secret that social media site Twitter was hit hard after banning the President of the United States. After the controversial move, even foreign leaders from France and Germany condemned it. Stock prices of the company fell. And evidence suggests countless users fled the site to join alternatives.
We can’t say for sure what the long-term repercussions are to this move. Other social sites have joined Twitter to silence or ban Trump and right-leaning accounts. This could lead to an unprecedented season of “purging,” where conservatives are kicked off sites (or leave voluntarily). Or backlash could force social media to end their growing acts of censorship.
In an attempt to explain his company’s decision, CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, posted a long thread. He defended banning Trump, but then admitted it was a failure.
Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey on Wednesday evening composed a 13-tweet-long thread on the social media platform he leads in which he defended the company’s recent permanent ban of President Donald Trump while still claiming that the ban constituted a “dangerous” “failure.”
… “While there are clear and obvious exceptions, I feel a ban is a failure of ours ultimately to promote healthy conversation,” Dorsey said. “And a time for us to reflect on our operations and the environment around us.”
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?— jack (@jack) January 14, 2021 [Source: Just the News]
We can argue all day long about whether Twitter really gave Trump “a clear warning.” Social media sites are notorious for ripping down a user’s posts or account without warning or even direct evidence of offending content. The very broken system used by Twitter and others gives users power to report an account they don’t like. Enough reports and the site will automatically shut the account down—whether the reports are legitimate or not.
(Leftists use this tactic frequently to target and harass conservative users.)
Dorsey claims banning Trump was a failure of the site to “promote healthy conversation,” whatever that means. I thought social media sites were about encouraging free speech, not deciding for themselves what “healthy conversation” is. Just like in physical health, nobody can adequately explain what “healthy” speech looks like—which can lead to abuse and censorship.
Jack then says banning Trump “sets a precedent [he feels] is dangerous: the power an individual or corporation” can wield to control “global public conversation.”
If that’s true, here’s an idea: STOP BANNING USERS. If Jack is really worried that this move will lead to more censorship (and he thinks that’s bad), then why does the company keep doing it?
He admits that banning Trump sets a precedent that is bad. Yet he keeps the decision in place. This is a perfect example of doublethink. Jack doesn’t want social media sites censoring or control conservation, yet this site did it to Trump and many others.
Should we believe Jack’s comments? Does he really want to prevent censorship or allow corporations to control the conversation? Or is he just putting out a statement to quell his stockholders and protect his own ass?
I guess you’ll have to decide that, if you still use Twitter.