Twitter’s decision to permanently suspend Donald Trump’s account in the wake of the Capitol Hill storming on Wednesday continues to spark fierce debate, with supporters and critics divided on partisan lines as they challenge what the suspension means for a cherished American tradition: freedom of expression.
Republicans – many of whom use Twitter – have denounced Trump’s suppression and claimed that conservative beliefs and opinions are being censored.
« Big Tech censure [Trump] and the freedom of speech of American citizens is on par with communist countries like China and North Korea ”, tweeted Steve Daines, a senator from Montana.
President Donald Trump Jr’s son he told me: “Freedom of expression is dead and controlled by the lords of the left. “
Democrats argued that the company had the legal right to make the decision – which they said was long overdue.
“It took blood and glass in the halls of Congress – and a change in the political winds – for the most powerful tech companies to recognize, at the last possible moment, Trump’s threat,” tweeted Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut.
Trump’s suspension came two days after the U.S. Capitol witnessed a fierce attack by supporters of the president, who for months broadcast false information about the election and encouraged his supporters to challenge the result.
Two tweets posted by the president on Friday were the last straw. Trump tweeted that his supporters “will have a giant voice in the future” and said he would not be attending the Joe Biden inauguration. Twitter he told me the tweets were “highly likely to encourage and inspire people” to replicate the attacks on Capitol Hill. Reports of secondary attacks have spread among extremist social media groups.
The debate has been going on for years over what role social media companies should play in moderating content.
The Tories are adamant that companies should be punished for what they say is censorship that the Republican Study Committee, a House caucus, wrote Twitter “Goes against the principle of our First Amendment”.
Tiffany Trump, the president’s daughter, used the social media site Speak, popular among conservatives and also controversial over its policies, to say, “What happened to free speech?”
Republicans say Twitter’s decision violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Others argue that the First Amendment says government can’t restrict speech, but social media companies are private entities.
« [The first amendment] does not give anyone the right to access a particular platform, publisher or audience; in fact, it protects the right of private entities to choose what to say or hear, ”said Mary Anne Franks, professor at the University of Miami Law School. Twitter.
Section 230 of the Decency of Communications Act exempts social media platforms from legal liability for user-generated content. Republicans, including Trump, say Congress could curb social media businesses by reforming the law.
But Republicans no longer control Congress, and Democratic activists and lawmakers have said the actions taken this week – Facebook banned Trump for at least two weeks and Google removed Talk from its app store – are what they’ve been advocating ever since. years. The attack on Capitol Hill, they said, showed that a breaking point had been reached.
Disinformation experts and civil rights activists claimed the platforms were responsible for the attack.
« [The violence] is a direct response to the disinformation, conspiracy theories and hate speech that has been allowed to spread on social media platforms, ”Jim Steyer, who heads Common Sense Media, an advocacy group that organized the campaign Stop the Hate for Profit which encouraged advertisers to boycott Facebook for hate speech, told The Guardian.
Many Democratic lawmakers have criticized social media companies but have yet to come up with specific actions to curb them.
“It’s important to remember that this is more than just one person,” wrote Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, new chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Twitter.
“This is a whole ecosystem that allows disinformation and hate to spread and fester without control.”