It wasn’t just conservatives and hardcore Trump supporters who expressed outrage over Twitter’s decision to permanently ban the president from the platform on Friday. Free-speech advocates, (classical) liberals, and those with deep concerns about the power wielded by Big Tech all came out strongly against the move. And some of the criticism came from some extremely surprising corners of the world.
For instance, anti-Putin, pro-democracy dissident Alexey Navalny said that banning Trump just showed how unserious Twitter is about applying their rules fairly and appropriately.
“This is an unacceptable act of censorship,” he tweeted. “Among the people who have Twitter accounts are cold-blooded murderers (Vladimir Putin or Nicholas Maduro) and liars and thieves (Dmitry Medvedev). For many years, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have been used as a base for Putin’s ‘troll factory’ and similar groups from other authoritarian countries.”
Actress Kirstie Alley said the ban should concern people on both sides of the aisle.
“ALL people should be concerned is the KEY here. It’s true, the average person will no longer have a platform to speak their views. This is called SLAVERY. This censorship proves BIG TECH now holds the keys to the chains,” she wrote.
Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said the ban was akin to what we’ve seen go down in totalitarian nations. “Silencing people, not to mention the President of the US, is what happens in China not our country. #Unbelievable,” she wrote.
She was echoed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who wrote, “Silencing speech is dangerous. It’s un-American. Sadly, this isn’t a new tactic of the Left. They’ve worked to silence opposing voices for years. We cannot let them silence 75M Americans. This isn’t the CCP.”
Even the ACLU – an organization that has practically changed its entire mission in response to Trump – appears to be troubled by the censorship.
“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,” said ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel Kate Ruane.
Unchecked power. That is the key phrase. It is exactly what conservatives have been warning about now for years. We’re used to governments taking advantage of fear and trauma to limit freedoms and take more power, but this monopolistic cabal is almost as terrifying as a nation-state. It’s past time for lawmakers to take action…possibly in conjunction with the Department of Justice.