Irish Examiner view: Trump ban exposes power of tech giants

Censorship must always be appropriate
Irish Examiner view: Trump ban exposes power of tech giants

Donald Trump: Banned from Twitter and Facebook

The old adage ‘be careful of what you wish for’ comes to mind in the wake of the decision by Twitter and Facebook to ban US President Donald Trump from their platforms.

Many reasonable people will feel no sympathy for Trump and his deranged and dangerous nonsense, particularly in the wake of the Capitol riots, seeing a causal link between his vile utterances and the mayhem in Washington.

However, the question is not whether any individual should be censored or not but who is doing the censoring. 

It is one thing to allow enacted constitutions that govern our laws to restrict freedom of expression for the common good, as is the case in Ireland and many other countries. 

It is quite another for Bigtech to do so to protect its brand.

As private companies, Twitter and Facebook have the legal right to decide who and what to allow on their platforms, but how can we be sure that Mark Zuckerberg et al will always make the right and appropriate decision? 

The fact is that we can’t. This ban, welcome though it is, exposes the authoritarian impulses of the tech giants.

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