Say what you want about the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), sometimes they get it right. The organization has raised concerns about Twitter’s recent decision to permanently ban President Donald Trump. Despite its many battles with the Trump administration, it appears on this occasion that the group’s concerns over free speech outweigh its antagonistic relationship with the president.
On Friday, the ACLU publicly expressed its fears over social media companies like Twitter and Facebook banning users, pointing out that it could have a chilling effect on online speech. Kate Ruane, ACLU senior legislative counsel, said in a written statement:
“We understand the desire to permanently suspend him now, but it should concern everyone when companies like Facebook and Twitter wield the unchecked power to remove people from platforms that have become indispensable for the speech of billions — especially when political realities make those decisions easier. President Trump can turn to his press team or Fox News to communicate with the public, but others — like the many Black, Brown, and LGBTQ activists who have been censored by social media companies — will not have that luxury.”
Ruane hopes Big Tech companies apply their rules to everyone equally, regardless of political affiliation. Twitter on Friday evening stated that it decided to permanently ban Trump from its platform because staff were worried that his presence could lead to violence similar to what occurred at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. “After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to risk of further incitement of violence,” the company wrote in a statement on its blog.
However, those who know how to interpret left-speak understand that this translates to: Those riots gave us the perfect excuse to ban that mean guy in the Oval Office and execute a mass purge of conservative accounts.
The company also pointed to “plans for future armed protests” that were being discussed on the platform and “a proposed secondary attack on the U.S. Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17, 2021” as factors that contributed to their decision.
Will Others Join The ACLU?
So far, the ACLU is one of the only major left-leaning organizations to push back against Twitter’s censorious conduct. In general, the left is either in favor of the decision or ambivalent. But the individuals who are not speaking out against it are missing the fact that this trend could impact them in the future.
The majority of people on the left are not radical progressives, the type of people who love censorship. They are regular, everyday Americans. But if censorship continues to be the rule of the day, it will eventually turn on them when they don’t quite line up with the radical, woke wing of the leftist movement. By the time they realize what’s happened, it just might be too late.
Read more from Jeff Charles.