On the day when President Donald Trump became the first occupant of the Oval Office to be impeached twice, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey spoke out to say that threats to physical safety and the company’s desire to foster “a more peaceful existence on earth” were among the reasons for the social media giant’s permanent ban of Trump from the platform.
In a Twitter thread on Wednesday, Dorsey said the company was forced to act after long-simmering concerns about the potential for politically-motived violence were realized in the horrific siege of the U.S. Capitol by far-right extremists and white supremacist groups on Jan. 6.
“We faced an extraordinary and untenable circumstance, forcing us to focus all of our actions on public safety,” Dorsey wrote. “Offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all.”
Dorsey echoed the sentiment found at Google and other Silicon Valley stalwarts of at least a stated desire to be a force for communication and community, rather than culture wars and partisan division, in the global villages that they serve.
“It’s important that we acknowledge this is a time of great uncertainty and struggle for so many around the world,” Dorsey wrote. “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.”
Twitter’s move was just one of many unprecedented actions involving a sitting U.S. President that have taken place in the past week. The House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 232-197 to impeach Trump for a second time, this time for his role in stirring up a violent mob that ransacked the Capitol building, threatening members of Congress and savagely beating law enforcement officers on the scene.
In a nod to the roiling political tensions across the country, Dorsey made a point of stating “I do celebrate or feel pride in having to ban @realDonaldTrump from Twitter, or how we got here.”
Here is Dorsey’s full thread:
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
More to come