by WorldTribune Staff, January 12, 2021
The precedent set by Big Tech companies which banned President Donald Trump from their platforms “will be exploited by the enemies of freedom of speech around the world. In Russia as well. Every time when they need to silence someone, they will say: ‘this is just common practice, even Trump got blocked on Twitter,’ ” Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny said.
Navalny was one of many world leaders who condemned the platforms that ousted Trump, The Epoch Times reported on Jan. 12.
At present, the president has been banned from Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, Reddit, and Instagram.
Twitter permanently removed Trump’s account, saying that his recent posts were in violation of the “Glorification of Violence Policy.”
Navalny said: “Don’t tell me he was banned for violating Twitter rules. I get death threats here every day for many years, and Twitter doesn’t ban anyone.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Jan. 11 said Twitter’s ban on Trump is “problematic,” adding through her spokesperson Steffen Siebert that freedom of opinion is an essential right of “elementary significance.”
“This fundamental right can be intervened in, but according to the law and within the framework defined by legislators — not according to a decision by the management of social media platforms,” Siebert said.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said that the tech giants are part of a digital oligarchy that is a threat to democracy.
Manfred Weber, the leader of the European People’s Party called for Big Tech firms to be regulated.
“We cannot leave it to American Big Tech to decide how we can or cannot discuss online. Today’s mechanisms destroy the compromise searching and consensus-building that are crucial in free and democratic societies. We need a stricter regulatory approach,” Weber said on Jan. 11.
Australian Liberal Party member and senator Alex Antic said he will push for a Senate Select Committee into Big Tech’s influence and censorship of political ideas when the Australian Parliament resumes next month.
Antic told The Epoch Times on Jan. 12 that he is concerned that Big Tech can so easily censor one side of the debate.
“Our democratic process is founded on our ability to share ideas freely and to be exposed to challenging and opposing viewpoints. It is crucial to the integrity of that process that Big Tech companies do not censor one side of the debate,” Antic said.