Alone against Donald Trump and Facebook

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Jack Dorsey

The dispute with Trump increases the pressure on the Twitter boss.

(Photo: dpa)

Denver It’s actually just a little hint that Jack Dorsey had on Tuesday under two tweets from US President Donald Trump. “Get the facts on the subject of postal voting,” says Twitter’s corporate color blue under Trump’s messages. In them he had falsely claimed that voters do not have to register for postal voting.

It is the first time that the short message service has subjected Trump’s statements to a fact check. The move catapulted the Twitter boss into a far-reaching debate about truth and lies on social media, which could potentially damage his business.

Trump’s return came promptly. He accused Twitter of interfering in the US presidential election and restricting free speech. He announced that he would sign a regulation on Thursday that could limit the power of Twitter and other Internet companies. The exact content of the regulation was not yet known.

However, it is clear that Dorsey also made Mark Zuckerberg an enemy with his advance. The Facebook boss gave interviews on Wednesday evening to the conservative and Trump-friendly TV broadcaster Fox News and the US stock exchange broadcaster CNBC in which he clearly distanced himself from Twitter.

“I don’t think Facebook and other internet platforms should be arbitrators of the truth,” Zuckerberg said on CNBC. “Political speech is one of the most sensitive in a democracy, and people should be able to see what politicians are saying.”

I don’t think Facebook and other platforms should be arbitrators of the truth. Marc Zuckerberg (Facebook boss)

The bosses of the two major social networks from Silicon Valley have positioned themselves against each other. Unlike traditional media companies, platforms are not responsible for the content that users post there. This has made the rapid growth of companies possible in the first place.

Trump has long feared that the corporations from the liberal Silicon Valley have opposed him and prefer Trump-critical content. At the same time, Twitter is the most important mouthpiece for the president, with whom he communicates directly with his more than 80 million followers several times a day.

Dorsey is on course. “We will continue to flag false or controversial information about elections around the world,” he said on Twitter. It is not about judging the truth. Rather, he wants to refer to further information in contradicting statements, “so that people can form their own opinion”.

The 43-year-old, whose net worth is valued at just under $ 5 billion, has repeatedly tightened the rules for “free and secure” use of the network in recent months – and has allowed Trump to break it again and again.

Investor pressure is growing

A potentially damaging dispute with the US President would put the exceptional entrepreneur under further pressure – also among his investors. Dorsey is not just a co-founder of Twitter. He also started the payment service Square in 2009, where he is also the CEO.

Some investors consider this double burden to be a major weakness. In March, hedge fund Elliott Management joined Twitter and initially urged that Dorsey be dismissed as chief. Dorsey finally agreed with the investor known for his aggressive approach and also canceled his planned trip to Africa.

He originally planned to spend three to six months there. But the pressure from Elliott, coupled with the corona crisis, led to rethinking. However, Dorsey will now need his strength above all to fight Donald Trump.

More: Trump threatens to shut down social media like Twitter



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