The irony of Jack Dorsey‘s absence from Donald Trump’s tech summit at Trump Tower today was not lost on many observers. Dorsey’s company is the president-elect’s favorite digital bullhorn, after all. To not see Twitter Inc. represented among the group that included top leadership from Facebook, Amazon, Tesla, Google, Microsoft, and numerous others feels like a snub to say the least.
But was it? The Trump campaign told Reuters that Twitter Inc. was simply too small a company to make the cut, but Politico‘s report about so-called bad blood between Dorsey and Trump suggest there’s more to the story. As the report goes, Trump wanted to pay for a special emoji to appear every time Twitter users posted the hashtag #CrookedHillary. That Dorsey’s company reportedly refused means he was unwilling to sell out to Trump, and not sitting at the table with him along with the rest of Silicon Valley today reenforces that air of independence, at least as far as optics are concerned. And it’s not like Dorsey has nothing else to do. Just yesterday, he interviewed Edward Snowden via Periscope, which is a pretty good “get.”
Let’s also remember that Twitter has said it would ban any user—including the president—who violated its terms of service, whereas Facebook has given Trump something of a free pass in terms of incendiary speech. I keep picturing Dorsey after a few whiskey sours with his finger on the “delete account” button. “Just try me, Donald.”