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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on whether platform censors users: 'Absolutely not'

Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey sat down with TODAY to mark the social media platform's 10th anniversary.
/ Source: TODAY

Twitter founder and chief executive Jack Dorsey insists his social media platform does not censor user content, despite suspicion suggesting otherwise.

“Absolutely not,” he told TODAY’s Matt Lauer during an interview Friday marking the company’s 10th anniversary. “Twitter has always been about controls. People can follow who they want, and it’s our job to make sure they see the most important things.”

A decade after Dorsey sent the first-ever tweet (“Just setting up my Twitter”), the platform now boasts 320 million active users, all of whom have the freedom to express themselves within a 140-character limit.

But Dorsey, who also serves as CEO of Square, acknowledged that tweets promoting violence are against the company’s terms of service. He said Twitter took a video made by the Islamic terrorist group ISIS that singled out him and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for taking stands against terrorist activity on their social networks “very seriously.”

“I found it alarming,” Dorsey said.

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Despite complaints and getting “some nastiness every now and then” from Internet trolls, Dorsey said he has never blocked anyone on the account.

“I really want to see what people are saying and I want to hear from them.”

Later, while paying a visit to the Orange Room, Dorsey dispelled rumors that it plans to eliminate the 140-character limit.

“It’s staying,” he insisted. “It’s a good constraint for us, and it allows for of the moment.”

Dorsey also reflected on how Twitter has allowed the public to interact directly with celebrities, such as Kim Kardashian West, who has nearly 42 million followers. Donald Trump, the front-runner in the Republican presidential race, also is an active Twitter user.

“As a microphone, it’s at its best,” Dorsey said about the way Trump has utilized the platform. “He uses it certainly to reach out to folks and to understand what they’re talking about and also to have conversations, very simply.”

Despite some financial turmoil Twitter has faced since going public in 2013 and losing key executives, Dorsey predicted the company will continue to be an influencing force for decades to come.

"We'll be here on the 20th (anniversary). We’ll be here on the 30th. It’s a fundamental service, and we have a lot of heart in the company, we have a lot of purpose," he said. "We understand what we are and what we stand for. We just see this amazing usage globally."

Follow writer Eun Kyung Kim on Twitter.