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The result of the 2020 election wasn’t the only thing President Donald Trump was trying to change over the past few months. While those efforts were far more obvious to anyone paying attention, there was another effort that would have a much more lasting, though far more subtle impact — reining in social media platforms he felt were unfair to him.

There’s a certain irony that the catastrophic failure of Trump’s attempt to change the election outcome may have actually resulted in real change to social media platforms, though not at all in the way he could have ever intended. 

Trump has made no secret that he wants to change the way tech platforms like Facebook and Twitter function. At one point he’d even asked outgoing FCC chairman Ajit Pai to roll back certain legal protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields companies from being held liable for user-generated content posted to their platforms.

It seems obvious that Trump never thought he’d get banned from Twitter. I’m sure he never expected to be suspended from Facebook. Yet both of those things happened after the President incited a crowd of his supporters to riot within the Capitol to try and stop the counting of the Electoral College votes.

Considering that two private companies from Silicon Valley effectively eliminated a primary form of communication for the President of the United States, it seems like we’ve crossed a line that may be hard to return from. It certainly seems like there’s no precedent for — at a minimum — imposing restrictions on world leaders when they abuse the privilege afforded to them by social media companies. 

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There’s long been criticism from conservative political and media personalities that Big Tech companies are censoring their viewpoints. That belief has led Trump and his allies to call for changes to platforms like Twitter and Facebook, even if the changes they have asked for — largely to regulate the way the companies operate and moderate content — would do little to affect the desired outcome, forcing the companies to allow any and all types of content. We’ll set aside the fact that on any given day in the last year, the top posts on Facebook by engagement have almost entirely been from Trump or his media allies. 

Adding to that, a handful of other companies, including Stripe and Shopify, have said they won’t do business with the Trump campaign. At the same time, Apple and Google removed the social media app Parler from their app stores. On Sunday, Amazon Web Services took the service offline entirely when AWS said it would no longer host it after the app, which is popular among right-wing groups, was used to plan the January 6 riot, as well as continuing acts of violence. 

What really changed last week wasn’t just that the tech companies decided that they’d had enough with Trump, but rather they recognized that they’re responsible …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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