The social media giants Twitter and Facebook have set a dangerous precedent by banning the United States’ sitting president Donald Trump.
This step on behalf of Twitter and Facebook has met with severe criticism. Stoking more controversial flames, the hashtag #hangmikepence was trending on Twitter recently. And while many pointed their fingers at this as evidence of liberal hypocrisy, the source of the trending hashtag was from videos of last week’s capital riot surfacing, with right-wing activists sounding off to the #hangmikepence slogan.
The move to ban Trump’s accounts seems to be an exercise to censor his views, which are effectively protected under the first amendment. What makes lands this issue in a grey area is the question of if Twitter’s Terms of Service allow for such a powerful figure to be removed.
This move by social media giants should not come as a surprise, because Facebook and Twitter have exercised this quite often in the recent past.
These companies do not have a good track record, and, are known to be biased against Republicans. An example of this came to light when these social media platforms suppressed engagement to the story feature, which reflected poorly on the president-elect’s son. They also kept suppressing the opinions of the Republicans, and right-wing analysts during the months leading to the election.
These tech giants should rethink their strategy on whether they want to let the freedom of speech prosper or not. With just over a week left in Biden’s inauguration, social media giants need to rethink their working strategies.