Earlier tonight Donald Trump was permanently banned from Twitter. You may think he violated their terms of service and deserved to be booted. However, if you think that is the end of the story you are missing the forest for the trees.
Twitter just exercised power to silence a sitting president and needed no one’s permission. That is exactly the kind of power our founding fathers struggled to eliminate while crafting our governing system. If that type of move doesn’t scare you, you are not alone. If the banning of Donald Trump made you jump for joy or laugh, you are, unfortunately, not alone. Twitter is on fire right now with people ecstatic that Trump is off Twitter. I do not think I am being hyperbolic when I say this, but the “First They Came” poem needs a revision. Try this (revised parts bolded):
First, they came for the socialists, and I cheered because I think socialists are wrong. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I cheered because the trade unionists are wrong. Then they came for the Jews, and I cheered because the Jews were evil. Then they came for me, and all who were left cheered.
The only thing that scares me more than social media companies flexing their muscles to apply censorship, is the amount of support they receive when they do it.
P.S. Parler, one of the few competitors to Twitter, was removed from the Google Play store and the Apple Store is threatening the same. Donald Trump is one of the most famous people in the world right now and can get around these hurdles. What happens when the social media companies decide they don’t like what you are saying? What audience will you be able to still reach?
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