Silencing speech is a bad precedent

Every American should be concerned with the actions taken by the major online tech platforms to ban President Donald Trump’s social media accounts. It sets an alarming precedent and has raised concern among many world leaders.

The action took place last week following the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Twitter and Facebook at first suspended Trump’s account for inciting his supporters to the violence that saw the Capitol interior breached and led to five deaths, and then later banned him to negate the risk of the president inciting further violence.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has had an on-again, off-again relationship with Trump, criticized the ban. “The right to freedom of opinion is of fundamental importance,” her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, told Reuters. “Given that, the chancellor considers it problematic that the president’s accounts have been permanently suspended.”

Alexei Navalny, the leader of Russia’s pro-democracy opposition party, referred to the action as censorship and warned of broader implications. “This precedent will be exploited by the enemies of freedom of speech around the world,” he tweeted.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told France Inter that while he condemned Trump’s tweets, “What shocks me is that Twitter is the one to close his account. The regulation of the digital world cannot be done by the digital oligarchy.”

We can all agree that Trump holds responsibility for what took place Jan. 6, However, to ban him for what he might do … well, that simply seems Orwellian in nature. And the last we checked, this is 2021 and not 1984.


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