On Friday, Twitter joined a slew of other social media companies in permanently suspending Donald Trump’s accounts. Subsequently, many conservative users found themselves de-platformed by the tech giant. The tech oligarchs argue that Trump’s social media presence incites violence, as evidenced by the riot in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
Twitter argued that several of Trump’s tweets violated its Glorification of Violence policy, which states, “You may not threaten violence against an individual or a group of people. We also prohibit the glorification of violence.”
Unsurprisingly, countless Twitter accounts regularly call for harm or violence, a violation of Twitter policy, yet this has been allowed to persist. While the president’s posts and remarks have included some awful things, they have been in no way worse than much of what transpires on the platform.
Ayatollah Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, has an intact Twitter account that consistently glorifies acts of violence, yet the brutal dictator has not faced any censorship or suspension. After the heartbreaking beheading of a French teacher because he showed a political cartoon depicting Mohammad, and a mass stabbing in a church in Nice, Khamenei focused vitriol on those murdered, claiming the “rage” of Muslim extremists had demonstrated its “vitality.”
Khamenei also called for Israel to “perish” and has promised “revenge” on the United States. But Twitter is more offended by President Trump than a theocratic dictator who supports terror attacks and threatens other countries.
During this summer’s Black Lives Matter demonstrations, politicians, celebrities, and other users praised those taking to the streets in protest. Many also championed the associated riots, which cost livelihoods and at least 30 lives as cities burned.
Football player turned activist Colin Kaepernick was vocal in his support for the violent rioting that overtook many American cities. He has been both “glorifying” actual violence and encouraging it to continue. Rather than censor his account in any way, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey donated $3 million to Kaepernick’s organization.
Floating around social media was the Martin Luther King Jr. quote, “A riot is the language of the unheard.” Ignoring the context and nuance of his words from a speech. In which the civil rights leader refused to condemn rioting. He also did not encourage it, advocating instead for nonviolence.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris joined many public figures in tweeting support for the Minneapolis rioting. She also posted the link for the Minnesota Freedom Fund that collected bail for those arrested while rioting. Such activity actively helped elongate and encourage violence, which took two lives and caused more than $500 million in property damage.
Harris has publicly called for the removal of President Trump from Twitter. For encouraging rioters, despite being guilty of the same behavior herself.
There are a shocking amount of tweets that declare that all members of certain groups deserve to die, including but not limited to “republicans,” “white men,” and “cops.” The entire platform, filled with threats of murder, assault, and rape. How do these posts not directly contradict Twitter’s supposed ban on calls for or glorification of violence?
Twitter’s permanent suspension of President Trump’s account is not about the rules. It is an exercise of power over its political opponents.
Wednesday’s riots were not the cause, but the excuse used for Big Tech to do what they have wanted to do for years — keep conservatives from speaking on public platforms.