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Twitter CEO Dorsey: Trump's Deactivation "Should Never Have Been Possible"

"We hold every single account to the same standards, the same rules and the same policies."

Posted on November 9, 2017, at 5:43 p.m. ET

Teresa Kroeger / Getty Images

CEO of Twitter and Square Jack Dorsey accepts the award for CEO of the Year on November 21, 2016 in Washington, DC.

"It should never have been possible" for a single staffer to temporarily deactivate the President's twitter account, Jack Dorsey, the chief executive officer and co-founder of Twitter said Thursday.

"We had an employee who on their last day took it upon himself to deactivate the account," Dorsey said at the New York Times' DealBook conference. "The account was not removed or suspended — it was deactivated, which is a very different state. It was not deleted. It was put in a state to wait for the owner to reactivate and he reactivated it."

When asked by Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin what Trump could say to get him removed from the service by Twitter formally, Dorsey insisted that "we hold every single account to the same standards, the same rules and the same policies."

He did note, however, that there were provisions for material staying on Twitter if it is considered newsworthy. That determination, however, is made subjectively, Dorsey said. The company will look to see if journalists on Twitter are discussing something to see if it's considered newsworthy. "We work really hard to make sure we are listening to the journalists on our platform and to determine newsworthiness and what’s in the public interest and what’s not. In some cases, we’re going to get it wrong."

Dorsey said that Twitter had failed to be sufficiently transparent in explaining the rules and polices that govern who can use the service and what content they can post without being sanctioned.

"The only way we know to help build trust in the processes to be as transparent as process," Dorsey said. "I wouldn't give us a high grade at the moment."


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