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'I completely gave up': Jack Dorsey takes blame for government influence on Twitter

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Twitter became "far too powerful" when it banned Trump, says Dorsey

Photo by GREG NASH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Twitter founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey took sole blame for Twitter's shortcomings in a recent blog post, claiming he lost the will to fight and admitting that activists made him lose hope, resulting in his development of an exit plan in 2020. Dorsey confessed that his biggest mistake at the company was "building tools for [Twitter] to manage the public conversation, versus building tools for the people using Twitter to easily manage it for themselves."

In post titled "a native internet protocol for social media," Dorsey commented on his thoughts surrounding the "Twitter Files," referring to document dumps by new owner Elon Musk of Twitter's internal messages and emails that have revealed government influence, as well as discussion among Twitter employees about censorship.

"Here’s my take, and thoughts on how to fix the issues identified," Dorsey began as he listed three governing principles for social media.

"1. Social media must be resilient to corporate and government control. 2. Only the original author may remove content they produce. 3. Moderation is best implemented by algorithmic choice."

"The Twitter when I led it and the Twitter of today do not meet any of these principles. This is my fault alone, as I completely gave up pushing for them when an activist entered our stock in 2020," Dorsey added, explaining that it was at this point he began to plan his exit.

Dorsey says that he realized that his company had become "far too powerful" the moment the decision to ban President Trump was made, saying it was the "wrong thing for the internet and society," referring to his January 2021 post.

Succumbing to outside pressure and advertising budgets was the main motivating factor for the Trump ban, says Dorsey, who said Twitter made the decision for the "public company business at the time."

"I’m a strong believer that any content produced by someone for the internet should be permanent until the original author chooses to delete it," he continued.

The former Twitter boss described his views on an ideal internet of sorts and how he thought content moderation should be nearly nonexistent, stating that "content takedowns and suspensions should not be possible."

Speaking on algorithms, Dorsey said he believes that only "ranking and relevance" are the way to go, adding that there should be open-source algorithms for the user to choose from or choose not to use any at all.

"A 'follow' action should always deliver every bit of content from the corresponding account, and the algorithms should be able to comb through everything else through a relevance lens that an individual determines."

Jack's closing remarks surrounded a free and open internet/Twitter, available to all, before promoting projects he believes coincide with his ideal ecosystem. Specifically, Dorsey plans to donate $1M annually to the Signal app.

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