- L ast week, as Twitter permanently banned Trump from its platform, critics from the right have been quick to blame a “leftist” culture within tech companies for a crackdown on free speech.
- People pointed to the rise of a bigot like Trump as a justification for curtailing free speech, while ignoring the reality that if we did begin to roll back first amendment rights, Trump would be at the top of the enforcement structure .
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- Large numbers of Trump supporters migrated on to Telegram in recent days after Parler, the social media platform favoured by the far right, was forced offline for hosting threats of violence and racist slurs after the attack on the US Capitol on 6 January.
- Far right “playbooks” teaching white nationalists how to recruit and radicalise Trump supporters have surfaced on the encrypted messaging app Telegram ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration .
- N ationals MP Anne Webster and Labor MP Sharon Claydon are less concerned with why Donald Trump was taken off social media, and more concerned with what platforms such as Facebook are doing to stop online defamation and abuse.
- The decision of Twitter and other social media platforms to first remove posts and then suspend Trump’s account prompted outrage among some conservatives, including National MP George Christensen and Liberal MP Craig Kelly.
- We asked a dozen of them to help us move the debate forward by sharing their proposals for concrete actions that can and should be taken now to prevent social media platforms from damaging democracy, spreading hate, or inciting violence.
- Much of the ensuing debate about the Trump bans has played out along predictable and unproductive lines, with free speech absolutists refusing to acknowledge that harassment and hate lead to the silencing of marginalized groups and those who support tougher crackdowns tending to elide good-faith concerns about overly aggressive censorship.