- In a blog post, Jack Dorsey said he should only be blamed for Twitter’s content-related failures.
- Dorsey condemned the attacks on his colleagues and offered his thoughts on the future of social media.
- As CEO, Dorsey said he led Twitter to do “the wrong thing for the Internet and society.”
In a blog post Tuesday, former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey weighed in on the revelations made in the “Twitter Files” and said he led the social network to do “something wrong for the Internet and society.”
The first post revealed Dorsey’s thoughts on the “principles” about social media he believes in: that social media “should be able to resist corporate and government control,” that “only a genuine author can remove the content they produce,” and that “moderation.” it is best served by algorithmic selection.”
“Twitter when I led it and Twitter today does not meet any of these standards. This is my sole fault,” Dorsey wrote in the post, saying he “stopped pushing” the policies when “an unnamed activist went into custody.” in 2020.”
That year, the New York Times reported that activist hedge fund Elliott Management had acquired a $1 billion stake in Twitter and called for Dorsey’s ouster, although it was unclear whether Dorsey was referring to the company instead.
Dorsey went on to write that he believes social media companies have amassed too much power and that Twitter’s decision to block former President Donald Trump, under Dorsey’s own leadership, is evidence of that power being overdone.
“As I’ve said before, we were doing the right thing for a public company at the time, but the wrong thing for the Internet and the public,” Dorsey wrote.
“The Twitter Files” provided insight into the social media player’s content moderation practices under Dorsey’s leadership. Musk has released emails and internal documents that form the archive to independent journalists including Matt Taibbi and Bari Weiss.
Included in the “Twitter Files” are debates among staff about whether to stop Trump by removing violence following the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, proving that the platform limited access to a New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s laptop – which was a laptop. previously known — and acknowledging that Twitter accepted requests from the Joe Biden campaign and the Trump administration to remove content from the site.
While other content in the Twitter Files reveals more details and internal discussions about the platform’s content moderation processes, many of the policy decisions surrounding Trump’s ban, and the reason for it, were previously reported or acknowledged in Dorsey’s 2020 statement. in Senate and congressional testimony after the Capitol riots.
The controversy over Twitter files led to an increase in threats against Yoel Roth, Twitter’s former head of trust and security. In a series of tweets, Musk added to Roth’s criticism, to send part of the paper written by a former Twitter executive when he appeared to advocate for a youth-friendly version of Grindr for young adults. Musk also echoed tweets calling Roth “go away.”
The threats, which Dorsey dismissed from his post without commenting on Musk’s behavior, were reportedly so bad that Roth was forced to flee his home out of fear for his safety, CNN reported.
“The current attacks on our former partners would be dangerous and solve nothing,” Dorsey wrote. “If you want to blame, direct it at me and my actions, or lack thereof.”
In recent months, Dorsey has apologized (after a major rebuff from Musk) for growing “company size very quickly,” he said closing the video clip Vine was his “great regret,” and agreed with Musk’s decision to reverse Trump’s ban on Twitter, saying it was a “business decision.” In April, Dorsey said “partial blame“for ruining the internet.
His latest apology contradicts his first statement banning Trump — saying at the time “the right decision” – and his 2021 congressional testimony where he acknowledged “some” responsibility for spreading false information on Twitter that was involved in the January 6 attack on the Capitol but said that “the broader ecosystem,” not just Twitter, had to be looked at.
When he founded Twitter in 2006, Dorsey’s approach to content moderation was seen as free speech and the company “had to be dragged” into content moderation, JM Berger, a researcher of extremism on social networks like Twitter, told Insider.
“Because of Jack Dorsey’s personal views on freedom of speech and any of his ideological sensitivities, Twitter has had to be dragged — kicking and screaming — through years of content moderation,” Berger told Insider. “So Twitter was the last of the big three platforms to implement any kind of strict moderation.”
Mistakes in controversial decisions Dorsey made while trying to moderate Twitter content, such as blocking Trump and criticizing the Hunter Biden laptop story, drew ire from critics, including Musk. Since his discovery, citing flaws in Dorsey’s approach, Musk has taken a hard line toward “free speech absolutism” and reduced content moderation on the platform.
“The way Twitter’s content modeling has changed since he’s taken over it’s just shifted away from right-wing bias,” Berger previously told Insider, adding that he believes the billionaire was “deliberately empowering extremists.”
Dorsey, Musk, and Twitter representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.