What's this? This is an unbiased just-the-facts news timeline ('newsline') about Jack Dorsey, created by Newslines contributors. Learn more

Jack Dorsey

Jack Dorsey13 posts

Jack Dorsey is an American businessman and web developer born in 1976 in St. Louis, Missouri. He is the co-founder of Twitter, as well as the CEO and founder of the mobile payments company Square.

Latest News view > Click for Biography view
11 Dec, 2022

The Twitter Files 4 – The Removal of Donald Trump (Post Jan 7)

Document release0 Comments

Following the release of The Twitter Files Part 3, which detailed senior Twitter staff’s actions up to January 7, 2021, Musk, through Shellenberger, releases The Twitter Files Part 4: The removal of Donald Trump: January 7. The files details how Twitter staff  created justifications and unique policy changes so they could ban President Trump from the platform, while having no consideration for free speech issues.

After Jan 6, Michelle Obama; tech journalist Kara Swisher; the Anti-Defamation League, and many others called for Trump to be banned from Twitter. At that time, CEO Jack Dorsey was on vacation in French Polynesia and left the handling to Yoel Roth (Global Head of Trust and Safety) and Vijaya Gadde (Head off Legal, Policy & Trust).

Schellenberger notes that in 2018, 2020, and 2022, 96%, 98%, & 99% of Twitter staff’s political donations went to Democrats and that Roth had previously tweeted that there were “ACTUAL NAZIS IN THE WHITE HOUSE”.

On Jan 7, Dorsey emails employees to say Twitter should remain consistent in its policies, including the right of users to return to Twitter after a temporary suspension. Around 11:30am PT Roth shares with colleagues that Dorsey had approved a system where five violations (“strikes”) would result in permanent suspension.

GUESS WHAT. Jack just approved repeat offender for civic integrity.

At this point, Trump had four strikes.

On Jan 8, Twitter announces a permanent ban on Trump due to the “risk of further incitement of violence”. Twitter says its ban is based on “specifically how [Trump’s tweets] are being received & interpreted”, despite the company saying in 2019 that it did “not attempt to determine all potential interpretations of the content or its intent.”

Shellenberger notes that the only serious concern expressed within Twitter over the implications for free speech and democracy of banning Trump came from a junior person in the organization.

This might be an unpopular opinion but one off ad hoc decisions like this that don’t appear rooted in policy are imho a slippery slope… This now appears to be a fiat by an online platform CEO with a global presence that can gatekeep speech for the entire world…

Roth then asks colleagues to add “stopthesteal” & [QAnon conspiracy term] “kraken” to a blacklist of terms to be deamplified. Roth’s colleague objects that blacklisting “stopthesteal” risks “deamplifying counterspeech” that validates the election. Other employees note that Kraken is the name of a cryptocurrency exchange and allowlist it. Other struggle with shared screenshots of Trump’s tweet.

Around noon, a confused senior executive in advertising sales sends a DM to Roth.

jack says: ‘we will permanently suspend [Trump] if our policies are violated after a 12 hour account lock’… what policies is jack talking about?”

Roth replies:

*ANY* policy violation

The executive then asks if Twitter is dropping its “Public-interest exceptions” policy, which allows the content of elected officials, even if it violates Twitter rules, “if it directly contributes to understanding or discussion of a matter of public concern”. Six hours later, at 7:18pm, Roth replies:

In this specific case, we’re changing our public interest approach for his account to say any violation would result in suspension.

At 12:27am Roth pushes for a permanent suspension of Rep. Matt Gaetz even though it

doesn’t quite fit anywhere (duh)…I’m trying to talk [Twitter’s] safety [team] into… removal as a conspiracy that incites violence.

Around 2:30, comms execs DM Roth to say they don’t want to make a big deal of the QAnon ban to the media because they fear “if we push this it looks we’re trying to offer up something in place of the thing everyone wants,” meaning a Trump ban.

After an engineer expresses concerns that Trump’s account is being treated differently to others, Roth says:

To put a different spin on it: policy is one part of the system of how Twitter works… we ran into the world changing faster than we were able to either adapt the product or the policy.”

9 Dec, 2022

The Twitter Files 2: Twitter’s Secret Blacklists

Document release0 Comments

Musk, through Weiss, releases The Twitter Files Part 2, subtitled ‘Twitter’s Secret Blacklists (also called, as a joke, ‘Part Deux’ by Musk), detailing how Twitter executives and staff used internal committees and tools to blacklist and restrict access to certain Twitter accounts in secret.

Such actions were called Visibility Filtering (VF) and included blocking searches of individual users; limiting the scope of a particular tweet’s discoverability; blocking select users’ posts from ever appearing on the “trending” page and from inclusion in hashtag searches. In internal messages, Twitter employees also spoke of using technicalities to restrict the visibility of tweets and subjects.

Users did not know about these techniques. In 2018, Vijaya Gadde (then Head of Legal Policy and Trust) and Kayvon Beykpour (Head of Product) said:

We do not shadow ban.

Twitter employee:

Think about visibility filtering as being a way for us to suppress what people see to different levels. It’s a very powerful tool. We control visibility quite a bit. And we control the amplification of your content quite a bit. And normal people do not know how much we do,

Weiss details several accounts that were restricted, including conservative activist Charlie Kirk, who was set to “Do Not Amplify”; Stanford’s Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, who argued that Covid lockdowns would harm children, was put on a “Trends Blacklist”; and the right-wing talk show host, Dan Bongino was restricted using a “Search Blacklist”.

The Files include details about two internal committes: The first group, known as the SRT-GE (Strategic Response Team – Global Escalation Team) decided whether to limit the reach of certain users. It often handled up to 200 “cases” a day. The second, which was only for the largest, most politcally-sensitive decisions, was known as SIP-PES (Site Integrity Policy, Policy Escalation Support), which included Gadde, Yoel Roth (Global Head of Trust & Safety), subsequent CEOs Jack Dorsey and Parag Agrawal, and others. This group operated outside of Twitter’s normal abuse ticketing system,

This latter group restricted the account of @libsoftiktok, subjecting its owner to six suspensions for ‘Hateful Conduct’, despite the committe knowing that LTT has not directly engaged in behavior that violated the Hateful Conduct policy. Weiss contrasts this with Twitter taking no action over posts that revealed the account owner’s home photo and address.

3 Dec, 2022

The Twitter Files 1: How and why Twitter blocked the Hunter Biden laptop story

Makes Statement0 Comments

Musk releases The Twitter Files, Part One: How and Why Twitter Blocked the Hunter Biden Laptop Story, though journalist Matt Taibbi. In a 30-plus post thread, Taibbi relates how Twitter executives blocked the New York Post’s October 14, 2020, Hunter Biden laptop story, using the excuse that it was ‘hacked’, despite having received no notification or confirmation from law enforcement that the laptop actually was hacked. The posts were given warnings and were blocked from being to be shared on Twitter’s direct message system. Taibbi says that executives did this without CEO Dorsey’s knowledge.

The posts details how political parties were able to contact Twitter executives to censor stories, and show communications between ex-staff, including Gadde, Roth, discussing the block.

30 Sep, 2022

Dorsey wanted Musk on Twitter’s board, but directors were too ‘risk averse’

Court filing0 Comments

According to texts revealed in discovery, Dorsey, the former CEO of Twitter, tried to get Elon Musk on Twitter’s board, but could not do so because he claimed the company’s directors were too risk averse. In a text message to Musk on March 26, Dorsey wrote:

The board is just super risk averse and saw adding you as more risk.

Dorsey said he thought the board’s approach “was completely stupid and backwards.” But said his power was limited because he only had one vote, and 3% of company, and no dual class shares. A little over a week later, Musk announced plans to join the board, before he decided to make an offer to buy the company.

21 Oct, 2015

Apologizes to developers

Apology0 Comments

At the Twitter Flight Developer Conference Dorsey apologizes for Twitter’s past behavior and says he is committed to try to improve developer relations.

Our relationship with developers got confusing, unpredictable. We want to come to you today and apologize for the confusion…We need to have a better conversation with our developer community, with everyone in this room… We can’t stand alone. We need your help…Tweet at us what you’d like to see at Twitter. Tweet with the hashtag #helloworld, we will take all of this information and input to make decisions over time to make sure the platform is something you’re proud of and will use more and more.

14 Oct, 2015

Files for IPO

Financial Report0 Comments

An SEC filing (document) reveals the company is officially seeking an initial public offering, as well as financial information: In the first half of 2015 Square took losses of $77.5 million on revenue of $560.5 million. In 2014, the company reported gross payment volume of $23.78 billion. The filing reveals retail the biggest source of transactions for the company constituting 21 percent of its gross payments volume. Other sectors include services, food, beauty, contractor, and transit. The filing also says Dorsey’s role as the CEO of Twitter and Square is a risk factor:

Jack Dorsey, our co-founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer, also serves as Chief Executive Officer of Twitter. This may at times adversely affect his ability to devote time, attention, and effort to Square.

13 Oct, 2015

336 jobs cut

Makes Statement0 Comments

In a posting to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Twitter announces that 336 jobs will be cute, 8% of its workforce.

The restructuring is part of an overall plan to organize around the Company’s top product priorities and drive efficiencies throughout the Company. The Company intends to reinvest savings in its most important priorities to drive growth…The roadmap is also a plan to change how we work, and what we need to do that work. Product and Engineering are going to make the most significant structural changes to reflect our plan ahead. We feel strongly that Engineering will move much faster with a smaller and nimbler team, while remaining the biggest percentage of our workforce. And the rest of the organization will be streamlined in parallel.

30 Sep, 2015

To become CEO

0 Comments

Sources say Dorsey is expected to be named the company’s new permanent CEO as early as October 1. Dorsey will apparently continue to be CEO of Square.

4 Aug, 2015

Shares fall

Financial Report0 Comments

Twitter shares plunge on the New York Stock Exchange, dropping 5.6% to $29.27 which is the lowest level ever. The share price has fallen a total of 45% in four months. Co-founder Dorsey:

We haven’t done a great job at aligning the entire company around our total audience strategy.

16 Oct, 2008

Steps down as CEO

0 Comments

Dorsey steps down as CEO of Twitter. Co-founder and former Chairman Evan Williams takes his place. Williams makes a post on Twitter’s blog:

While the board of directors and the company have nothing but praise for where Jack has taken us, we also agree that the best way forward is for Jack to step into the role Chairman, and for me to become CEO. Jack will remain on the board and be closely consulted for all strategic decisions, while I take on day-to-day operations with the support of Biz, Jason, Greg, and the rest of this impressive Twitter team.