Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) expressed his displeasure on Tuesday, March 23, with Twitter’s decision to ban former President Donald Trump from the website. Many other international political figures, including Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, and Andrés López Obrador, have slammed Twitter’s move.
Sanders said on “The Ezra Klein Show” that former President Trump was a “racist, homophobic, homophobe, xenophobe, pathological liar, tyrant, and someone who doesn’t believe in the rule of law.” And, as much as we can laugh at these arguments, which are, to be frank, ludicrous at this point, at least he added that he didn’t “feel especially good” with tech firms wielding so much influence in the debate. Finally, Sanders is likely to find some common ground with conservatives in this area.
Following the events at the Capitol, Twitter suspended President Trump’s account in January, citing a desire to prevent more “incitements of violence.” This is despite the fact that neither the president’s tweets nor his Jan. 6 speech contained any incitement to violence. Trump’s Twitter account was suspended a day after Facebook blocked his account, despite the fact that he was still the president. Many foreign countries have reacted to Big Tech’s acts by taking preventative measures against them, believing that they will rise to be more powerful than the government.
Even though it is not the role of social media outlets to determine which theories are real or false, the prominent left-wing senator and former presidential candidate explained that social media sites “shouldn’t allow hate speech and conspiracy theories” on their platforms. Furthermore, social media sites promote the propagation of politically correct conspiracy theories. For example, despite being proved vehemently false, the theory that Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 elections was never discussed by Twitter.
Sanders said that these online outlets could not be used for “authoritarian purposes and insurgency,” but admitted that he was unsure how to strike the right balance in terms of censorship. He shared his frustration with a “handful of tech people” who wielded too much influence.
Yesterday, Donald Trump was barred, and tomorrow, anyone with a very different viewpoint might be barred.