Shut Down Tweets?

Originally posted on May 27, 2020

Reuters posted an article about a Trump Tweet where he threatened to shut down/regulate various social media (i.e. Twitter and Facebook) because they were stifling conservative talking points. Poor baby! Is Fox being shut down too?

The Tweet ran something like: “Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen. Clean up your act, NOW!!!!”

Even by Trump’s standards this claim is astonishingly juvenile. What brought it on was that Twitter started adding a blue exclamation point (see below) to his Tweets that contained lies – in this case, his ongoing battle against mail-in voting and his claim that fraud was widespread. While every non-GOPer is worried about social media’s spread of lies, apparently Trump is worried about having his lies cut off.

Trump (and subsequently Pompeo) mentioned Freedom of the Press and how Twitter is apparently violating his right to spew untruths on their platform. But Twitter isn’t preventing him from spewing – they are simply pointing out that what he is posting may not be truthful. Doesn’t Twitter have the Freedom of Speech to do that? Or is Freedom of Speech a one-way street?

Trump seems to have confused controlling lies with controlling conservative thought. Or is Trump unwittingly telling us that the two are so intertwined these days that it would be impossible for him to present conservative thought without lying?

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