The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) is warning the public of big tech’s “unchecked power” in the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s permanent suspension from social media.
Kate Ruane, a senior legislative counsel at the ACLU, said in a statement that Twitter’s decision to suspend Trump from social media sets a precedent for tech companies to silence voices. Censorship is running rampant right now and few seem to notice or even give a damn.
The ACLU first took issue with Trump’s usage of social media outlets to question the results of the November 3 election and his allegations of voter fraud. “We understand the desire to permanently suspend him now, but 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 – especially when political realities make those decisions easier,” the ACLU statement read.
Ruane reiterated that transparency is needed from Big Tech companies, noting that activists who don’t have alternative ways to communicate will suffer. “President Trump can turn his press team or Fox News to communicate with the public, but others … who have been censored by social media companies—will not have that luxury. It is our hope that these companies will apply their rules transparently to everyone,” according to the statement.
“Censorship is to society what cancer is to the human body,” says YouTube creator Brian of High Impact TV.
Trump has been censored almost everywhere. Twitter, which suspended Trump’s account on Friday indefinitely suspended the president’s access. Instagram, Twitch, Facebook, and others have done the same.
Big Tech has taken on the role of suppressing the free speech of people with whom they disagree. If you honestly still believe you live in a free society, you’re living in a delusion. Other concerns have been expressed about civil liberties after Apple and Google moved to remove social media app Parler—a social media website used primarily by conservatives—from their respective app downloading stores, saying it has not implemented adequate moderation policies.
Parler’s CEO says Big Tech is trying to squash the completion along with the basic fundamental right to free speech. “There is the possibility Parler will be unavailable on the internet for up to a week as we rebuild from scratch,” he said in a post on Parler. “This was a coordinated attack by the tech giants to kill competition in the market place … You can expect the war on competition and free speech to continue, but don’t count us out.”