Last week, insurrectionists used social media platforms to organize an attempted coup of the U.S. government. Shockingly, a rag tag bunch of idiots were able to successfully enter in to the U.S. Capitol while Congress was in session to confirm the Electoral College vote. By doing that, they shut down this important function.
This week, all social media platforms shut down Donald Trump. Twitter removed tweets from and suspended the official US government account @POTUS. Trump is now gone from FB, IG, and Twitter; Youtube issued a 7-day suspension and SnapChat issued a life time ban.
BigTech is now more powerful than world leaders and governments.
Think carefully about that. BigTech – not a Court, not Congress, not a government agency – but a handful of billionaire oligarchs shut down the predominate method of speed for a world leader (even if he is a buffoon). If they could this for this leader, they could do it for other leaders and governments.
BigTech has likely killed itself. After this, BigTech will be broken up and heavily regulated. Governments will not permit a handful of oligarchs to control public speech – also, governments hate competition 🙂 They’d like to reserve speech control for themselves!
BigTech seems oblivious to what they just did.
The media notices the problem:
“The Facebook and Twitter suspensions represented a landmark moment for America’s social media giants and the most visible demonstration yet of their absolute power. With a few unilateral decisions, a small group of tech executives deprived the president of the United States of his most influential broadcasting tools, curtailing his ability to command the nation’s attention and drive the news cycle from his mobile phone at a moment’s notice.”
“The cost of this decision is that it sheds light on the fact that a small group of individuals get to make these decisions,” one Facebook executive involved in the deliberations about the suspension of Trump’s account said.
But platforms were not the only companies to highlight how the power of the internet is concentrated. Shortly after Facebook and Twitter suspended the president’s accounts, tech companies even more central to the Internet put their power on display: Apple and Google removed Parler, a social networking app popular among Trump supporters, from their respective app stores for failing to prevent violent speech, and Amazon stopped hosting the app on its AWS web-hosting service.
the entire world has seen just how much power tech companies wield and the realization that these executives can take drastic action when necessary — altering the course of world history from tropical retreats in the Pacific Ocean — without any external laws or guidelines.