Amazon, Apple, and Google have all acted to shut Parler down supposedly because it hosts calls for violence, but a simple search of Twitter shows that it regularly allows such calls itself.
Twitter hosts a #KillTrump hashtag. One of these tweets reads “#ArrestTrump not enough #KillTrump.” And this isn’t new, back in June the hashtag #AssassinateTrump was bouncing around the website with gems like “Someone take this clown out NOW.”
That tweet is still up.
And while Trump’s alleged calls for violence, in fact he explicitly called for peaceful protest, got him banned, the Ayatollah Khamenei tweeted this in November, “. . . Palestine will be free, while the fake Zionist regime will perish. There’s no doubt about this.”
Twitter has the right to police the speech on its platform, but the rules must apply equally to everyone if they claim to be a neutral platform and not a publisher.
Should we worry about a private firm censoring the president of the United States and preventing him from effectively communicating with citizens over a chosen medium of universal reach.
The suppression of free speech by Big Tech monopolies seems to be the new modus operandi. Twitter banning President Trump is proof Jack Dorsey lied at every Congressional hearing he testified at.
The expulsion from the cloud of Twitter competitor Parler by Twitter, Facebook, Apple, and Google, is intended to benefit the Left and penalize the Right.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel labeled Twitter’s permanent ban of Trump “problematic” and that President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico criticized Facebook’s blocking of the outgoing U.S. president, and that the Portuguese analyst Bruno Macaes thinks it’s “time to start a debate in Europe whether we want to stay tightly connected to a US internet where repression of speech will keep growing.”
“Yesterday,” wrote the American Conservative’s Rod Dreher late last week, “I predicted that the Left and the liberal Establishment would use the Beer Belly Putsch as an opportunity to begin to implement the rudiments of a social credit system, and to otherwise marginalize and suppress right-of-center discourse and people. Well, here we go.” The reference is to China’s system of surveillance and supervision, which uses consumer data, facial recognition, artificial intelligence, and GPS tracking to identify regime critics and deny them access to everything from airline seats to bank credit.
This is not a Black Mirror episode. This is America now.
Big Tech suppression of speech, at one party’s urging but not government order, technically doesn’t violate the First Amendment. But, as CNN commentator Mary Katharine Ham tweeted, “It feels creepy and authoritarian.”