Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey Attended Closed-Door Meeting With President Trump

The meeting lasted 30 minutes, and touched on "the health of the public conversation on Twitter," according to an internal Twitter email obtained by Motherboard.

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Apr 23 2019, 8:05pm

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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, along with other Twitter executives, is having a closed-door meeting with President Donald Trump on Tuesday, according to an internal Twitter email obtained by Motherboard from two independent sources. The meeting comes after an invitation from the White House, the email adds.

The email does not detail what the meeting will specifically be about, but says the company anticipates it to be about “the health of the public conversation on Twitter,” according to the email written by Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s global lead for legal, policy, and trust and safety.

Dorsey himself chimed in on the thread, according to a second email obtained by Motherboard from two sources.

“As you know, I believe that conversation, not silence, bridges gaps and drives towards solutions,” Dorsey wrote. “I have met with every world leader who has extended an invitation to me, and I believe the discussions have been productive, and the outcomes meaningful.”

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Some Twitter employees will likely take issue with their CEO meeting President Trump. Dorsey addresses this directly in the email, adding, “Some of you will be very supportive of our meeting [with] the president, and some of you might feel we shouldn’t take this meeting at all. In the end, I believe it’s important to meet heads of state in order to listen, share our principles and our ideas.”

In 2016, President Trump held a meeting with various tech leaders. Dorsey was not invited.

Twitter has faced criticism about a perceived bias against conservatives that the company and experts who study social media say is unfounded. This month, Republicans questioned Twitter over concerns the platform is censoring conversative speech. Twitter has also faced criticism over its handling of Trump’s own Twitter account, which he uses often to attack political opponents. His tweets have, at times, broken Twitter’s rules, leading some to call for the company to ban or suspend his account.

“Some of you might feel we shouldn’t take this meeting at all.”

Last year, the company wrote in a blog post that it has special policies for accounts owned by “world leaders.”

“Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets would hide important information people should be able to see and debate,” the company wrote. “It would also not silence that leader, but it would certainly hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions.”

The news shows the level of engagement tech leaders have with heads of state. Gadde’s email adds that Dorsey recently met with the president of South Korea, the president of Japan, the prime minister of New Zealand, and the prime minister of India.

The meeting will last about 30 minutes, according to the email.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Neither did the White House.

This piece has been updated to include a tweet from President Trump.

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