P.O. Box 10307
New Orleans, LA 70181
(504) 888-8255
COMMENTARY OF THE DAY
By
Robert Namer
Voice Of America
©2021 All rights reserved
January 08, 2021

     It remains unclear how the platforms will handle Trump once he leaves office and is no longer shielded from enforcement of most rules by his status as a world leader. And some critics saw the moves as cynical efforts by the companies to position themselves for a post-Trump future.  “They no longer have to fear Donald Trump,” said Rashad Robinson of Color of Change, a group that has pushed tech companies to do more to rein in hate speech. He said Facebook’s action was “in the best interest of Facebook” and a way to curry favor with the incoming Democratic president and Congress.

     In announcing the unprecedented move, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said the risk of allowing Trump to use the platform is too great following the president's incitement of a mob on Wednesday. Zuckerberg said Trump’s account will be locked “for at least the next two weeks” and possibly indefinitely. Trump has repeatedly harnessed the power of social media to spread falsehoods about election integrity and the results of the presidential race. Platforms like Facebook have occasionally labeled or even removed some of his posts, but the overall response has failed to satisfy a growing number of critics who say the platforms have enabled the spread of dangerous misinformation.

     Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, will also block Trump's ability to post on its platform. YouTube, owned by Google, announced more general changes that will penalize accounts spreading misinformation about voter fraud in the 2020 election, with repeat offenders facing permanent removal. Snapchat on Wednesday locked Trump’s account “indefinitely.” Twitch, the live-streaming site owned by Amazon and used by Trump's campaign to stream speeches, disabled Trump’s account until he leaves office, saying it didn't want to be used “to incite further violence." Companies outside the social media world also scrambled to take stock of how they'd been used by those who swarmed the Capitol. E-commerce company Shopify shut down two online Trump memorabilia stores for promoting people or organizations “that threaten or condone violence to further a cause.”

     Good reasons for the end of Section 230 - to much power by social media and a violation of the First Admendment.  

News Gathering & Commentary © 2021 Hot Talk Radio, all rights reserved