I don’t understand the uproar after Twitter terminated Donald Trump’s account, a move that no sensible person should disagree with. I do not understand how or why the owners or managers of that social network made such a decision just last Friday, when they had to do so long before. The directives of Twitter – the same as those of Facebook – were in arrears to banish the ‘quasi-former president’ of the United States, if one takes into account that for several years this man had been violating the most elementary rules of said networks, flooding them with messages full of lies and unscrupulous.
Although many of us consider that there were ample reasons to silence the social networks of this unpresentable character, there have been those who – in a curious interpretation of freedom of expression – reject the measure while criticizing Messrs. Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg with the argument that they cannot claim the right to determine what can and cannot be said, or who can speak or who to be silent. At this point it would be good to remember that when you sign up for these services and accept their conditions, you give those companies a series of permissions, consents and authorizations to do with us and our data whatever they want, including the possibility to market them. And also the possibility of cutting off the jet.
So if Mark and Jack have excessive power, it is because of all of us who use their networks and feed their databases, in permanent transactions that users say we get ‘for free’ while they become millionaires.
This episode showed that Twitter and Facebook can control harmful content on their networks in time. Another thing is that, for commercial convenience or hypocrisy, they refrain from doing so.
And, although it is believed that Trump would not have reached the presidency without Twitter, it is difficult to imagine what his fate would have been if the mainstream media had not echoed his trills, no matter how unfortunate or crazy; to such an extent that the more outrageous their messages were, the more they were mentioned in newspapers, television channels and radio stations, media that, despite their decline in recent years, are still regularly followed by ordinary citizens – especially in areas rural and semi-urban, where social networks do not inspire the same trust as traditional media.
In fact, even though there is an obvious interest in networks in areas far from the large metropolitan centers of the United States, there are still barriers that make access to them difficult. These factors include, for example, the lack of knowledge about how to handle them, confusion about use policies, lack of training on how to handle them, and lack of time, among others. Coincidentally, in the elections held in November, one of the causes of Trump’s defeat was the decline in voters in many non-urban areas, in which the Democratic Party strengthened, compared to the 2016 elections. It would be interesting to know what role played by social networks in political campaigns in these communities …
But, going back to Trump and his silencing, this episode showed that Twitter and Facebook are able to control harmful content in time, such as that published by that character. Another thing is that for commercial convenience or hypocrisy they refrain from doing so.
And since they are in those, it would not be a bad idea for Jack and Mark to take a look at the accounts of several Creole politicians who are dedicated to publishing national security information, attacks on peace, hate speech and resentment and until justification of violence. If you carefully review their ‘cynical’ stories, you may discover that more than one deserves ‘twitanasia’.