Local experts weigh-in on social media platforms temporarily banning Trump

Political News

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Since the storming of the Capitol, both Facebook and Twitter have temporarily banned President Donald Trump from using their platforms.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg banned President Trump from both Facebook and Instagram until after he has left office after Twitter imposed a 12-hour suspension on the President that expired Thursday.

Tony Russell-Smith, a Service Technician at Yes Computers in Northampton told 22News the social media giants are allowed to moderate content on their websites because they are private companies.

“It’s right there in the terms of service, that you are entering a private walled garden and that they have final say of what gets done on their platforms,” he explained.

Madison Kroher, a first-year student at Smith College, said they were glad to see Twitter and Facebook take action.

“He’s been getting away with saying these awful things for so long and I can’t believe these platforms have been letting him get away with it,” Kroher said.

Professor Wayne Xu with the University of Massachusetts Amherst Communications Department studies disinformation in digital spaces. He said while it’s easy to take down one account, it’s hard to change the perspective of an entire online community.

“As users migrate to these fringe platforms and [these fringe platforms] don’t adopt any content moderation and… Facebook and Twitter [do adopt content moderation], it’s just going to push more users to those non-mainstream platforms,” he told 22News.

One thing Professor Wayne Xu feels social media companies can do is to become more transparent in how content is prioritized on users’ timelines.

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