The horrific events at the U.S. Capitol this week represented a tragic low point in our nation’s history—and the high point of the power of technology platforms over speech. On Friday, Twitter banned President Donald Trump from using the service and wiped away his Twitter history. Facebook earlier indefinitely banned him, and Snap locked his account. As our Nick Wingfield tweeted, “Does he still have two-day shipping?”
All joking aside, this is a significant moment. After many have called for the platforms to rein in or remove Trump for years, most have finally decided to, and I share the widespread view that these steps were necessary to protect democracy.
I’m also stuck thinking about the incredible power these companies exerted in censoring the President. And while many are cheering this power now, as it was necessary, it is clear these moves will reignite calls for that power to be checked.