The Washington Post published an op-ed Monday by a former political advertising executive for Twitter and Google that calls for President Trump to be banned by social media companies from posting until after a winner is declared in the November presidential election.
Trump’s Twitter account was banned for a few minutes in 2017 by a ‘rogue’ worker.
Peter D. Greenberger wants to silence Trump because he doesn’t like what the President says: “In just the past week, President Trump has retweeted a QAnon conspiracy theory alleging that Joe Biden and Barack Obama had SEAL Team 6 killed, called on supporters to form an army of poll watchers, asserted repeatedly that mailing in your ballot will result in a rigged election and tweeted four times in 11 minutes falsely tying unrest in Portland, Ore., to Biden.”
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Greenberger is blunt in his demand: “With millions of votes already cast and Election Day less than three weeks away, it is time for Twitter and Facebook to take away the digital bullhorn and mute the president. Trump should be silenced on both platforms until the winner of the election is determined.”
Greenberger blames Trump and his supporters for ‘damage’ on social media: “I launched and led the first political advertising team at Google in 2007 before joining Twitter to do the same in 2011. My team at Twitter met with political leaders and issue advocacy organizations to introduce them to the power of this platform. Twitter, for the first time, enabled politicians to cultivate an authentic persona, maintain a direct dialogue with supporters without the filter of news media and drive the news narrative of the day. Few political leaders embraced the medium as successfully as Trump. But now, Twitter, Google and Facebook each have implemented escalating policies seeking to contain the damage largely caused by Trump and his supporters. It’s clear they haven’t yet solved the problem.”
After saying Trump should be silenced for spreading conspiracy theories, Greenberger flips out and spreads his own conspiracy theory that Trump will call out an army of armed “tiki torch” bearers to set the country aflame in a disputed election.
What will he tweet as we get closer to Election Day? Or as the returns start coming in? Is there any doubt he will question results, claim victory unilaterally or inflame his supporters to take to the streets? The stakes are too high to wait to find out.
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Twitter and Facebook have indicated that they will take down any tweets that question the outcome of the election or encourage violence, regardless of who posts them. But Trump is already doing this when he questions mail-in ballots and calls for an “army” of poll watchers. The president’s erratic and dangerous behavior calls not for a label on his tweets nor the hiding of his Facebook posts, but for him to be silenced until a clear winner is announced.
Private corporations are not required to uphold the First Amendment. But even if they were, speech is not protected if you yell “fire” in a crowded theater. Trump is telling people holding tiki torches to “stand by” to set the country aflame. Why wait for him to call on armed supporters to take to the streets?
…Trump has already told his most dangerous supporters to “stand by.” Twitter and Facebook shouldn’t allow him to use their platforms to give violent actors the green light.
Twitter and Facebook are already censoring and locking accounts of conservatives as the election approaches, including White House officials Kayleigh McEnany and Scott Atlas, a Trump campaign account and accounts of Jack Posobiec and Charlie Kirk. Twitter has locked out the New York Post over the paper’s articles on Hunter Biden for the past week.
Warnings have been placed on several posts by President Trump or on occasion taken down. An alleged rogue worker took down Trump’s Twitter account for a few minutes in 2017.