Whatever you think of Trump, this is not the way. I don’t support censorship, which is to say restrictions on freedom of speech, of any kind. (I affirm the well-considered body of law that balances freedom of speech with society's interests in limiting promotion of sex trafficking, pornography and obscenity, or "yelling 'Fire' in a crowded room.")
And, Yes, Big Social Media are private companies, but they now function with enormous monopolistic power as public platforms—evident as Apple steps in to shut down Parler. I favor changing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 that’s protecting them.
What if Social Media begins censoring categories of people or ideas they consider unacceptable? Well, they already have: various conservatives, certain Christian content, medical professionals presenting ideas about lockdown or C-19 that elites don’t like. I have 4 friends whose posts or accounts have been blocked because an anonymous committee didn’t like their ideas. Meanwhile, a list of international and domestic bad actors still have accounts.
Trump had 89 M followers on Twitter. I’ve been saying for 4 years that whoever owns Twitter should thank the Lord every morning for Donald Trump, who put them back on the map. Now it will be interesting to see how many people leave Twitter over this and what happens to the company. Rush Limbaugh just deactivated his Twitter account.
Certainly, putting pressure on private companies is a dilemma. But private companies have been held accountable to society’s civil rights standards in the past. The issue here for Big Tech is monopoly of a public forum. There is no forum if it isn’t free, and Big Tech is not acting simply in fair and equitable interests for all. Actually, they have their own huge biases. So, like railroads, telegraph, and telephone a century ago, like TV in the last 70 years, there needs to be competition and regulation like the FCC.
I generally side with free enterprise and no government regulations. But then again, we engage government to protect competition and just practice, like FDA, FCC. T.R. “busted” the monopolies of his day. I think we’re looking at that with Big Tech, particularly when they wield their power in highly biased ways.
Yes, Trump was shameful. Now he’s beginning to pay the price. I reject what he did and certainly condemn the violent invasion of the Capitol Building, just like I condemned the violent riots of this past summer.
Trump is an easy target right now. People are cheering him getting a comeuppance. My point here is not about or trying to defend President Trump.
A far greater concern is preserving the spirit of the First Amendment in terms of freedom of speech, free access to information, and openness in a democratic society.