Twitter permanently bans US President Trump from platform

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Sunday, January 10, 2021

On Friday, US President Donald Trump's twitter account was permanently suspended. According to Twitter, the reason for this ban is "the risk of further incitement of violence". This goes against the usual policy of Twitter, that usually doesn't suspend world leaders. This ban was criticized by many, claiming that Twitter is "the enemy of free speech".

Not long after Twitter announce they were going to suspend the President's personal account, Trump posted a tweet in his official account (@POTUS which stands for President of the United States) which criticizes Twitter for banning free speech. It also goes on and say: "Twitter employees have coordinated with the Democrats and the Radical Left in removing my account from their platform, to silence me - and YOU, the 75,000,000 great patriots who voted for me". In this tweet, which was deleted minutes after it was posted, Trump also said that Trump was searching for another platform to use and also that he was looking at the possibility of opening a new platform.

Kate Ruane, a member of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) condemned Twitter's act of suspending President Trump's account. She told that she doesn't agree with Trump's tweets and understand twitter's wish to permanently ban him, but she also says: "it should concern everyone when companies like Facebook and Twitter wield the unchecked power to remove people from platforms that have become indispensable for the speech of billions". He also told that many activists will be affected by twitters decision especially since they might not always have alternative ways to share their opinions.

Lindsey Graham, a US Senator from South Carolina posted a tweet saying: "Twitter may ban me for this but I willingly accept that fate: Your decision to permanently ban President Trump is a serious mistake. The Ayatollah can tweet, but Trump can't. Says a lot about the people who run Twitter." He also told in a separate tweet that he is determined to repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which many Conservatives claim offers protection to Big Tech companies that participate in mass censorship.

Section 230 is a law passed in 1996 that shields Internet companies from being held responsible for things that individuals publish using their services. It says: "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider." This law has several exceptions, for example in 2018, Congress made it possible to take legal actions against social media platforms that knowingly support sex-trafficking.

Republicans and Democrats agree that Big Tech companies have gained too much power and that they must be regulated. Many Democrats think that Congress should require Big Tech Companies to delete so called "hate speech and extremism, election interference and falsehoods". However, many Republicans, including President Trump, blame Facebook, Google, and Twitter for censoring free speech, and want to pass laws that limit the extent in which social media platforms can limit so called "harmful speech" in their platforms.