Former President Donald Trump was hit with social media bans across the board towards the end of the Presidency, now Bernie Sanders is calling out big tech over the ban.
“But if you’re asking me, do I feel particularly comfortable that the then-president of the United States could not express his views on Twitter? I don’t feel comfortable about that. …Because yesterday it was Donald Trump who was banned, and tomorrow, it could be somebody else who has a very different point of view.”
These comments were made during an interview with the New York Times’ Ezra Klein. While Sanders has nothing positive to say about the President he did raise concerns over the banning of the President. In the same interview Sanders would go on to say that the President is a “racist, a sexist, a xenophobe, a pathological liar, an authoritarian, and somebody who doesn’t believe in the rule of law“.
Now, Sen. Sanders did criticize Trump, throwing out charges you’d expect about how strongly he disliked Trump, that he’s “a bad-news guy,” and what’s next when it comes to communicating ideas on social media that others find to constitute “hate speech.”
The senator still expressed the whole point of free speech, though, and of the dangers of curbing it. We’ve heard it time and time again that the answer to so-called bad speech, is more speech, which remains even truer today thanks to big tech. As Justice Louis Brandeis put it, “the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.” I can’t think of a clearer example of “enforced silence” than banning a then-sitting president from social media platforms.
Raise your hands if you’ve been banned, shadow banned, kicked off, lost followers on social media. I’m sure it’s quite a few. If they can do it to President Trump, however, of course they can do it to you. Why wouldn’t they? What’s stopping them?