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Snippet: Deplatform ☇

Shared on January 7, 2021

Casey Newton for The Verge:

Yesterday, I wrote about the sense that the fracture in our shared sense of reality seems to be accelerating. I asked whether platforms ought to take it as a moral responsibility to reverse that divide — and, if so, how. Today, I advocate for one smaller but still difficult and essential step in that direction.

It’s time for Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to remove Trump.

Calls for platforms to remove Trump have been coming for years. The president’s use and abuse of Twitter to threaten nuclear war, attack average citizens, and undermine elections have been a defining feature of the media landscape since his 2016 campaign. Twitter has aided and abetted the president for years, putting him on its suggested user list even as he promoted the birtherism conspiracy and spread other racist lies.

While I try to keep the political posts to a minimum here, yesterday’s events infuriated me and I still haven’t fully processed everything. Regardless of political party or viewpoint, condensing the events of yesterday down to one sentence would probably be something along the lines of “the Commander in Chief used social media platforms to incite rioters and insurrectionists to invade our government and interrupt the democratic process.”

I’ve never felt comfortable with Trump’s use of Twitter, due to the lack of any guardrails. This is why we have a White House Communications Director and Press Secretary to ensure things are correct and not misinterpreted. Instead, as a country, we’ve been fine with unfiltered access to a world leader and then seem surprised when off-the-cuff or inappropriate comments lead to bad things happening. We’re lucky it hasn’t led to worse.

Update: Facebook just did it “indefinitely”—your move, Twitter.

Update (1/9): Twitter permanently banned his account.

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