Trump's Twitter Ban Shows How Dangerous Misinformation Can Be
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Trump's Twitter Ban Shows How Dangerous Misinformation Can Be

It was long overdue, but it should set an important precedent moving forward.

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Trump's Twitter Ban Shows How Dangerous Misinformation Can Be
https://unsplash.com/photos/8cMPxOqkLE8

"Congress shall make no law... prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech..."

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution is arguably the most important Amendment. Without it, we wouldn't have the right to publicly share our opinions, whether they are favorable or not. Unfortunately, that means hate speech or false information is protected by the Constitution. The First Amendment is often cited as justification by individuals who engage in such commentary. This is why is it up to tech companies like Twitter or Facebook to cite in their own terms of use what kind of content isn't allowed, and what content can be subject to removal from their platforms.

Is big tech becoming big brother?

It depends how you look at it. President Trump's rhetoric has been outrageous from the moment he announced he was running for office. However, since the storming of the Capitol, there's evidence to believe that his dialogue can be directly linked to the incitement of violence. Twitter made sure to provide context for each tweet of Trump's they had initially removed. Even his admitting he wouldn't attend President-elect Biden's Inauguration was considered dangerous; if the president wouldn't be present, it could potentially be an opportunity for MAGA extremists to stage another violent demonstration. But it wasn't just the speech he gave on that day, telling his followers to "fight like hell." It wasn't the highly scripted "go home, we love you" videos that he was pressured to release. The events that happened on January sixth stemmed from MAGA enthusiasts' belief that the 2020 Presidential election was rigged and stolen from Trump. When the idea of mail-in voting had been considered a viable option since the pandemic made people hesitant to vote in-person, Trump projected that the election would be fraudulent unless people voted in-person. Donald Trump planted that seed of misinformation, and so the storm on the Capital was able to flourish.

What does this mean for free speech?

Even though dialogue that is morally or factually wrong is protected under our Constitution, organizations have the right to implement consequences, especially when the implications of such can be so serious. America has its faults, but we are lucky to be a part of a country where banning our leader from social media is even an option. Any expressed dissent against the government is illegal in countries such as China, Egypt. or North Korea. Blasphemy is illegal and punishable by death in Saudi Arabia. We have the right as Americans to be able to say "fuck Trump," but we should be treating it like a privilege. When it comes to speech that can potentially become dangerous we need to remember we're human beings first, and Americans second.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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