Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said Wednesday that the social media platform faced an “extraordinary and untenable circumstance” before banning President Trump’s account.
The platform permanently suspended Trump’s account last Friday, days after a mob of his supporters breached the U.S. Capitol in a riot that left five people dead.
The company made the decision, which has since become controversial, after it determined that his posts posed “the risk of further incitement of violence.”
In a lengthy Twitter thread on Wednesday, Dorsey said 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.”
Dorsey recognized, however, that having to ban an account has “real and significant ramifications,” adding that doing so 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.”
Dorsey also noted that in the long-term, the actions of Twitter and other companies would be “destructive to the noble purpose and ideals of the open internet.”
“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,” he tweeted.
The Twitter CEO further stated that he is funding an initiative called Bluesky, aimed at creating an open “decentralized standard for social media,” adding that it’s still in the works. However, he noted that the goal is to “disarm as much as we can,” and to “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,” he concluded.
Multiple social media platforms, including Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat, took similar actions to restrict or ban Trump from the platform after the riot.
The president slammed the companies on Tuesday, saying their decisions would be a “catastrophic mistake for them.”