Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Tuesday took full responsibility for newly-revealed actions taken by the platform to suppress free speech, saying “this is my fault alone.”
Dorsey pointed to 2020 when “an activist entered our stock” as to when he “completely gave up” pushing for the principles on which he founded the company. And while the “activist” was not named, most believe Dorsey meant Elliott Management, which tried to oust him in March 2020.
He said he began to “plan my exit” at that moment and knew that he was no longer a suitable leader for the platform.
His remarks came as new CEO Elon Musk continues to release troves of internal documents showing how the social media giant took drastic steps to suppress information and conservative accounts.
Those steps included blocking access to the Hunter Biden laptop story and deplatforming former President Donald Trump. What they show is an organized and concerted effort to manipulate information users saw on the platform.
Twitter founder Jack Dorsey said the company's banning of then-President Donald Trump was the "wrong thing for the internet and society." https://t.co/ZmwKfCGsl1 pic.twitter.com/m9wGFr9ZCt
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) December 14, 2022
Dorsey listed three core principles he believed should govern the platform — principles that clearly were abandoned before Musk took control. The first was that social media should be “resilient to corporate and government control.”
Secondly, postings may only be removed by the original author. And third, moderation should be accomplished using algorithms.
Dorsey confessed that Twitter when he ran it and in its current form does not live up to any of the three principles.
He admitted the platform devoted too many resources to creating tools “to manage the public conversation.” This, he said, was contrary to allowing the people to “easily manage it for themselves,” and this in turn gave the company too much power over the global conversation.
The Twitter founder cited the suspension of Trump’s account as a prime example of how the company had become “far too powerful.” This power, he asserted, opened the platform up to “significant outside pressure.”
He added that the move was “the wrong thing for the internet and society.”
Dorsey then took his statement one step further, expressing his support for a “fresh reset” of the platform. He added that he does not endorse “content takedowns and suspensions,” and that blame for previous missteps should be directed at him alone.
As the Twitter Files continue to reveal the misdeeds of the company’s former management, it is somewhat refreshing to see Dorsey step up and take responsibility. However, the suppression of information began well before 2020, and his leadership bears the brunt of responsibility.