This week Twitter and Facebook announced they are barring United States President Donald Trump from posting at their respective websites.
Mark Zuckerberg, the top guy at both Facebook and Instagram declared in a Thursday Facebook post that, in addition to removing recent posts by Trump, “we are extending the block we have placed on [Trump’s] Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.” The day before, Twitter’s “Twitter Safety” declared at Twitter that Trump’s Twitter account was being locked for 12 hours and would remain locked if Trump does not acquiesce to the removal of three tweets as directed by Twitter. Plus, Twitter Safety warned that “future violations” of Twitter Rules would “result in permanent suspension” of Trump’s account.
Are Twitter and Facebook reacting to Trump attempting to use his account to accomplish some horrendous or criminal action? Nope. James Murphy provides in a Thursday The New American article a good rundown of Trump’s posts at Facebook and Twitter, as well as the two companies’ drastic responses. You can read that article here.
What to make of the two companies’ actions against Trump? “Barf” is the one-word response that came to mind, and that I posted at my Twitter and Facebook accounts, when I read the companies’ smug announcements. Facebook and Twitter are in their actions taking another big step toward transforming their websites from venues for wide-ranging discussion to the internet equivalent of piles of vomit.
I have been watching this transformation taking place over several years. Indeed, I detailed some of the earlier actions in Twitter, Facebook, and other big technology companies’ descent in my November of 2018 article “Countering Technology Companies’ Crackdown on Alternative Voices.”
In 2020 some major focuses in this continuing transformation have been efforts by Twitter and Facebook to limit or silence the communication of information that challenged either Joe Biden’s presidential campaign or coronavirus fearmongering and crackdowns — two of the most important political topics of the year.
In my November of 2018 article I wrote of having created the month before accounts at several alternative social media websites. Last year I added to that list an account at Parler. (They are all linked at my website.)
Over the last few years I have commented, posted, and reposted a fair bit at Twitter despite my ongoing concerns about the website. That may largely be coming to an end. I’ll still post my articles there for the foreseeable future as I have been doing at Facebook, but the stink of vomit is diminishing my desire to do much more at Twitter.
The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity is a project of Dr. Paul’s Foundation for Rational Economics and Education (F.R.E.E.), founded in the 1970s as an educational organization. The Institute continues and expands Dr. Paul’s lifetime of public advocacy for a peaceful foreign policy and the protection of civil liberties at home. Visit http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org