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a “failure” and a “dangerous precedent” according to the boss of Twitter – RT in French

Jack Dorsey felt that banning the US president from the platform was a good decision, but that it nevertheless constitutes a “failure” and “sets a dangerous precedent”, given the power held by the big companies of the Internet.

Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey believes the decision to ban Donald Trump from the platform was “the right one” but nonetheless a “failure” and “sets a precedent that [lui] seems dangerous ”given the power wielded by large information and communication companies on the internet.

“I don’t feel any pride in the fact that we had to ban @realDonaldTrump,” he tweeted on January 13 in a series of messages in which he reconsiders the social network’s decision to ban the outgoing president indefinitely following the intrusion by his supporters into the Capitol in Washington on January 6.

It’s a “failure on our part to promote healthy conversation” and these kinds of measures “divide us,” he continues, adding, “They limit the possibilities to explain, to redeem, to learn.” “It sets a precedent that I find dangerous: the power that an individual or a company has over part of the global public conversation,” Jack Dorsey then admits in this introspective monologue.

Twitter was the main communication tool of the Republican President, who used it on a daily basis to speak directly to his 88 million subscribers. He has also been suspended from Facebook, Snapchat, Twitch and, since January 12, YouTube for at least a week. Google’s video platform faced increasing pressure from NGOs and personalities.

But the network’s decision to the blue bird is by far the most emblematic. The ostracization of the head of state has been welcomed by many elected officials, but it has also drawn criticism from associations and leaders, such as Chancellor Angela Merkel, worried about the power of technology companies.

A purge without escape?

Jack Dorsey points out that the balance of power was respected as long as “people could just go to another service, if our rules and our application of the rules did not suit them. […] This concept was called into question last week when a number of essential internet tool providers also decided not to host what they found dangerous, ”admits the 44-year-old billionaire, before considering that these actions have not been coordinated. The companies of the Big Tech are according to him “more probably […] came to their own conclusions or were encouraged by the actions of others ”.

In addition to its flagship measure against Donald Trump, Twitter announced on January 11 that it had deleted 70,000 accounts affiliated with QAnon, a pro-Trump movement involved in the events on Capitol Hill that disrupted the certification ceremony for Joe Biden’s victory on January 6.

When Donald Trump tried on January 8 to respond to the suspension of his personal account via the official POTUS account (President of the United States) by writing to the attention of the “75 million patriots” who voted for him, his messages were immediately removed by the social network. “Using another account to avoid the suspension is against our rules,” a Twitter spokesperson explained.
Facebook has for its part undertaken to remove all messages related to the slogan “Stop the steal” (“Stop theft”) referring to the hypothesis of the rigging of the November election defended by supporters of Donald Trump.

Google and Apple have also excluded the social network Parler from their application download platforms. Amazon has hit the nail on the head by ousting the conservative network, popular with Donald Trump’s supporters, from its servers, which is tantamount to driving it off the internet.

An omnipotence “terrifying for freedom of expression”

All these giants of new technologies invoked the risks of violence during the week of the inauguration of Joe Biden. The US authorities fear overflows, to the point that the accommodation reservation platform Airbnb on Wednesday canceled all reservations planned in Washington next week.

Jack Dorsey’s remarks come in a context of annoyance, even anger, of American elected officials on both sides. They blame Twitter and its neighbors in Silicon Valley for their omnipotence, both in terms of economic competition and in terms of data and public debate.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on January 13 ordered major platforms to explain their decisions “terrifying for freedom of expression”. “They silence all those whose political views and beliefs are not aligned with the leaders of the Big Tech“, Said this fervent supporter of Donald Trump in a press release.

“Yes, we need to take a critical look at the inconsistencies in our rules. Yes, we need to look at how our service can incite harm by hijacking debates. Yes, we need more transparency in our moderation of content ”, nevertheless asserted Jack Dorsey, in the interest of a“ free, open and global internet ”.

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