It looks like at least part of Big Tech might be feeling the backlash a bit from banning President Donald Trump last week.
Twitter, Facebook and Instagram all booted him. Twitter not only banned him, but it went after any other account on which he used to try to communicate people, including booting the Trump Campaign account, Team Trump.
But they got a lot of criticism for doing so, from Americans who deplored free speech being curtailed and were concerned they might be next if the leader of the free world could be taken down by Big Tech. Even foreign leaders including the President of Mexico and the Chancellor of Germany blasted the move, perhaps even seeing themselves in Trump’s shows in the future and seeming to have a better understanding of free speech than do the Democrats. They’re now talking about how to stop such Big Tech control, so this may be backfiring.
The Big Tech companies not only suffered criticism, they also suffered a bit hit in the pocketbook, where it hurts. Facebook and Twitter, between them, had a market value loss of over $51 billion over two trading sessions. That’s a massive reaction back against them. If they hadn’t gotten the message before then, that had to wake them up. Most of that was from Facebook which lost $47.6 billion.
One of the reasons for the loss was people fleeing their sites for other more free speech friendly venues, which then resulted in investors dumping stocks.
In response to the backlash, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey chose the option of trying to justify himself in a Twitter thread that was roundly mocked as hypocritical and false. He then was caught by Project Veritas on undercover video indicating this was much more than Trump, that it was going to go on and was “not going away,” indicating a likely troubling continuing suppression of speech.
Today there was a claim that Trump’s Facebook and Instagram pages had been restored but Facebook denied that and said they were still blocking him from the ability to post, although his pages are still up.
There has been no change to the status of the President’s Facebook and Instagram accounts. That report is false. The indefinite block we placed on the President’s ability to post from those accounts remains in place and there are no plans to lift it. https://t.co/8L2KnuLrCa
— Andy Stone (@andymstone) January 16, 2021
So Facebook so far isn’t moving off their position despite the monetary hit. It’s forcing people to explore other options for social media which may further hit the Big Tech giants.
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