‘Big Tech’ debate continues after social media platforms ban President Trump


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE)- With President Donald Trump banned from social media sites, a debate is now brewing about if companies are moving within their rights or overstepping.

Some say the social media bans on President Trump are long overdue, while others would say the move will only lead to censorship of free speech.

This weekend, the Cabarrus GOP announced a social media blackout. Posts on their social media accounts claim Twitter and Facebook have become authoritarian in the enforcement of their community standards.

FOX 46 asked experts to look into their crystal ball and try to predict where this is all leading.

“This is the action these platforms are capable of taking if they feel it is going against their terms of service,” Joe Toscano said.

Toscano is the CEO of Beacon, and a former consultant for Google. He was featured in Netflix’s documentary ‘The Social Dilemma’.

“We saw big tech say this is over the line. We feel accountable for the impact that we have seen in society,” said Toscano.

But so far, thanks to Section 230 in the Communications Decency Act, internet services–like Twitter or Facebook–are not liable for content its users post on the internet.

“Without the House and Senate, there’s very little we can do to actually have any reform on Section 230. We’re living in very dangerous times.” NC House Representative Madison Cawthorn said.

Cawthorn, a Republican, joined with South Carolina Senator Tim Scott in making calls to reform Section 230 exemptions.

Scott says the move social media platforms are making is another troubling example of conservative censorship, but could pushing more legal responsibility on big tech backfire?

“If you were to ban Section 230, it might well result in the platforms having to engage in more suspensions and engage in more control over their platform because of the fear that they would be sued over what somebody else said on their platform,” said Darren Linvill, an Associate Communications Professor at Clemson who specializes in online disinformation.

There is no doubt that there will be more conversations about who oversees right from wrong online, and something experts see as a possibility is more fracturing of social media platforms and possibly the development of another service.


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