Twitter ’s Decision on Trump is Problematic

Αssociated Press

This Friday, Jan. 8, 2021 image shows the suspended Twitter account of President Donald Trump. (AP Photo)

Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, described Twitter's decision to suspend Trump's account as "problematic."

Twitter explained its decision by saying that with his messages, Trump promotes violence, as the latest tragic events reveal.

As is known, Trump had about 80 million followers, whom he ‘bombarded’ with usually gross lies, such as that there was massive fraud in the elections, which he said he won in a landslide, etc.

As Niccolo Machiavelli said in The Prince, "the leader will do well to tell the truth to the people because when he lies when he can tell the truth, he will sooner or later put himself in a difficult position."

He adds, however, that “a deceiver will always find someone who is willing to be deceived.”

The decision of Twitter, Facebook, etc. not to allow Trump to communicate with the people, fans and supporters or not, through the medium he prefers seemed, at the moment, both right and beneficial.

That is because they were preventing him from adding more "fuel to the fire."

But we have to think about this for the longer term.

We have to ask the question: Who decides whether Trump can use this platform to communicate with the people or not?

Today, they did the right thing to suspend Trump’s account – but who knows what other people will be cut off tomorrow and for what reason?

What kind of democracy are we talking about when someone who has not been elected by anyone, a businessman, is able to decide who is allowed and who is not permitted to communicate with the people through these huge technology companies and their platforms?

I repeat, if today they justifiably cut off access to Trump, who can ensure that tomorrow they will not cut off access to someone else, not because they should for the good of society, but, for example, because it is in their business interest?

It is indisputable that some people using social media have completely lost touch with the truth, logic, ethics. That they spew bile and project lies and misinformation every day there is absolutely no doubt.

But should this be seen as a necessary sacrifice on the altar of freedom of expression, or should they be censored?

Is it not better for these decisions to be judged by the marketplace, by the invisible hand of the market, as Adam Smith would say?

That's why Merkel is right.