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Should social media companies alone have the power to ban Donald Trump?

Campaign 12 Jan 2021 02:01

All he had to do was commit actual treason. But President Donald Trump has finally been banned by Twitter and "indefinitely" suspended by Facebook/Instagram.

Yes, this is woefully overdue and it may be seen as convenient that Trump will be out of office next week. It also seems somewhat inconsistent when Twitter still allows other political hatemongers on the platform, such as Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamanei (who, in 2019, reiterated a death threat against Salman Rushdie for the high crime of writing a novel 30 years ago).

This is the ultimate "better late than never" move. Trump's violent language and divisive rhetoric, with all the authority of the office behind him, is a serious danger to democracy when allowed a platform like the unfiltered megaphone of social media.

While Trump and his 88 million followers (some of whom may even be real people) were undoubtedly good for Twitter's business, an actual coup d'état in the US perhaps would not have been so propitious for the company share price.

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