Lawmakers and politicians are speaking out against the official Twitter ban on President Trump’s account. The platform permanently wiped out the President’s social media account based on concerns over breaking a ‘glorification of violence’ policy. The American Civil Liberties Union cited concern over this move and warned Twitter about wielding ‘unchecked power’ to remove free speech from millions of users on the platform.
“It should concern everyone when companies like Facebook and Twitter wield the unchecked power to remove people from platforms that have become indispensable for the speech of billions — especially when political realities make those decisions easier,” ACLU senior legislative counsel Kate Ruane said.
She went on to talk about how President Trump can turn to his press team or Fox News to communicate with the public, but noted concern for those individuals who have been censored by social media companies and do not have that luxury. She said that their hope is to push companies into applying their rules transparently to everyone.
Twitter claimed that President Trump’s rhetoric incited the violence that occurred at the U.S Capitol building last week. It wasn’t just Twitter that targeted the President. Facebook Instagram, Snapchat, Shopify, Twitch, Reddit, Youtube, Google PayPal, Discord, and Pinterest, have also take action against President Trump or created anti-Trump-related content until at least the end of his presidential term.
“We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great. Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Sen. Lindsey Graham warned big tech companies about legal accountability and putting them on the same footing as every other company in America. He talked about stripping Twitter and other social media platforms from Section 230 protections that give them absolute immunity from being sued for their actions. He said that Congress gave them that protection and is determined now more than ever to take that immunity away from future lawsuits.
Other companies, such as Parler, have promised social media platforms that promote free speech, however, other tech companies demanded they increase content moderation. They have suffocated and targeted smaller social media platforms into the corners of the App Store for “promoting violent content.” Parler CEO John Matz accused Amazon, Google, and Apple of killing competition in the market place and starting a war on competition and free speech.
President Trump condemned the big tech companies for silencing and blocking his accounts, while talking about the possibilities of building out his own platform in the future. Silencing speech is dangerous and un-American, but not a new tactic of the radical left. The cancel culture was just the start for them.