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Twitter played an interesting role during the latest US presidential election as Donald Trump attracted fair share of attention for his habits of using the network. Over last several months, users of the social networking platform became so irritated with the president’s Twitter Handler that they even went ahead and asked for the network to ban him from the platform. And now, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has revealed that the banning won’t be happening anytime soon as he said during an interview with Backchannel that every Tweet from the president starts interesting and thriving conversations.
Talking about the tweets, he said, “I think it’s really important that we maintain open channels to our leaders, whether we like what they’re saying or not, because I don’t know of another way to hold them accountable. Anytime we have a leader tweet, including Trump, there’s a very interesting and thriving conversation. A mixture of fact checking, disagreement, agreement, and some random things.”
However, he was quick to point out that the network holds all user accounts to have same standards. He said, “We want to make sure that independent of who you are or where you’re coming from, you understand the guidelines, what our policies are, and what that means. We now have 11 years of a corpus of opinions, statements, emotions, facts, falsehoods – everything you can imagine. It’s all archived in the Library of Congress, as well, in real time.”
“It’s really interesting right now that people are taking the present day and going back to previous statements. So the public nature of the platform, and the fact that tweets stick around, is becoming critical to accountability.”
During the interview he also revealed that there’re several roles of newsworthiness as he pointed out if the network will block the president if users complained about the tweets. He continued, “Our policy does account for newsworthiness as well, and that was requested by our policy team. So we’re not taking something down that people should be able to report on and actually show that this is what the source said. It’s really important to make sure that we provide that source for the right reporting, and to minimize bias in articles.”
“He’d been using it as a central platform for his communication since 2011, 2012. He hasn’t really changed his behavior. He has been fairly consistent; he just changed what role he is speaking for.”
“If you were him, why change the momentum of what made you win in the first place?”
“We learned a bunch in that past year around how slow we were, and we just completely shifted our mindset. There’s not going to be an endpoint where we can say we’re done. But the progress we’ve made in the past few months has just been phenomenal. We didn’t prioritize it in the right way, but now we have.”
It’s certainly at interesting take as over last several months Trump’s Twitter account certainly has attracted engagement over the platform and given that Twitter has struggled of maintain similar user engagements, it’s difficult to see why the company would actually ban someone who is providing exactly what the company has been looking for. However, it’ll be interesting to see how the company handles the criticisms in the coming months.