A legislative counsel member from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Friday warned that the suspension of President Donald Trump’s social media accounts wielded “unchecked power” by large tech companies, Breitbart reported.
Kate Ruane, a senior legislative counsel at the ACLU warned in a statement that the decision to suspend Trump from social media platforms could set a precedent for big tech companies to silence less privileged voices.
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) January 9, 2021
“For months, President Trump has been using social media platforms to seed doubt about the results of the election and to undermine the will of voters,” Ruane stated, further saying the actions taken by tech giants should “concern everyone.” He added:
“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.”
Ruane said that transparency is needed from Big Tech companies, and Twitter and Facebook’s decision will impact activists who don’t have alternative ways to communicate.
Ruane concluded for the ACLU:
“President Trump can turn his press team or Fox News to communicate with the public, but others – like many Black, Brown, and LGTBQ activists 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.”
On Friday, Twitter announced that Trump would be permanently suspended from its platform “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” Facebook, Instagram, and Twitch soon followed and have indefinitely suspended the president’s access on those platforms.
Twitter announced: “After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”