Has Digital Censorship Arrived in the West?

Published August 19th, 2018 - 01:46 GMT
In a series of tweets on Saturday morning, US President Donald Trump accused social media platforms of closing down the opinions of right-wing people while doing nothing to others. (Shutterstock)
In a series of tweets on Saturday morning, US President Donald Trump accused social media platforms of closing down the opinions of right-wing people while doing nothing to others. (Shutterstock)

Voices accusing tech companies of liberal bias and deliberate targeting of conservatives have been on the rise.

In a series of tweets on Saturday morning, US President Donald Trump raised the issue of social media platforms de-platforming political opinion to the right of the ideological spectrum. They are “totally discriminating against Republican/Conservative voices” especially those who “speak loudly and clearly for the Trump Administration”.

Trump threatened his administration “won’t let that happen”, saying they did not call to remove the CNN and MSNBC even though they are “Fake News” channels.

Trump’s tweets were believed to follow news on a one-week ban imposed by Twitter on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones who has been facing a series of online bans by tech companies, Facebook, Youtube, Apple, Spotify, and Vimeo in what appeared to be a coordinated move.

Twitter was believed to be under pressure to take action against Jones. Instead of banning Jones, the netword decided to suspend for a period of time.

The latest to criticize banning Jones was Bill Maher, the HBO talk-show host who was earlier accused of telling “crazy lies” by Jones himself. Maher, in an unexpected move, said that everyone has a right to free speech in his Friday episode. "If you’re a liberal, you’re supposed to be for free speech."

This is not the first time in which the social media platforms’ censorship on specific users come to lights, it has been going for weeks now after it was highlighted by prominent conservatives.

Earlier this month, Trump himself tweeted accusing Twitter of shadow banning Republicans calling it “discriminatory and illegal practice”.

Earlier, and as a way of protesting the platform’s censorship, Trump supporters and prominent right-wing activists called on people who have been shadow banned to place a large 'Red-X' beside their names.

With campaigns and media reports shedding more light on this issue, social media users are becoming more aware of the fact that social media platforms are being controlled systematically amid fears that freedoms in the west are being undermined by a combination of powerful interests.

What do you think?


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