Famous American model and actress, Emily Ratajkowski, took to Twitter to wonder what the precedent set by the biggest social media platforms blocking the US president's accounts for "the violation of rules", citing his posts addressing the events in the US capital, could mean for ordinary people like us.
The 29-year-old Hollywood star expressed her view that the move made by Facebook, Instagram, and, apparently the most relevant for Trump - Twitter - could give social media moguls like Mark Zuckerberg too much power over the freedom of speech.
This gives Facebook/tech/Zuck THE MOST POWER. If he can shut the president up/off he can shut any of us up/off— Emily Ratajkowski (@emrata) January 7, 2021
Soon after, controversy erupted in the replies section of her tweet, as some of the starlet's followers sided with her point of view, while others argued that every person on social media signs a digital terms of service agreement that they undertake to comply with, and it is up to companies to decide whether one's posts violate their terms.
lol. Emily has a really good point. Censorship will always be used against us. You think it's used for good against the President, great. But inevitably it will hit the people even harder. She's thinking logically in the long-term, you're thinking emotionally in the short-term.— Sabow 🇵🇸 - Tacoma Wept 😭🤮 (@sabowsky) January 7, 2021
She’s talking about the ability to censor people, taking away their right to free speech.— Michael Watkins (@radiokalin63) January 7, 2021
Yes they can - they are private entities, if you violate their terms of service they can shut you down - not hard to understand. You have no inherent right to use their platforms......— Eric Corrigan (@NY_EMC) January 7, 2021
One of the followers replied to Ratajkowski's comment on the recent events by saying that it would be much better to log off of social media and just take a walk, to which the star replied:
Actually no social media is an incredible tool to organize grassroots movements as proved by this summer’s protests— Emily Ratajkowski (@emrata) January 7, 2021
One user remembered President Trump's calls to end Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act that relieves the responsibility of internet companies for the content their users' posts, which is viewed by some as a means of big tech censorship online.
If only we had a president who was willing to fight against 230.— CapNKirkland (@CapNKirkland_1) January 7, 2021
Later, Ratajkowski explained her concerns over the power that tech companies have over users' freedom of speech, claiming that the media has been censoring left-wing political activists, who were dubbed "extremists".
My concern is that this gives big tech the opportunity to shut down “leftist extremists” who are important political organizers.— Emily Ratajkowski (@emrata) January 7, 2021
One of the users replied to the star, stating that whoever is inciting violence and spreading misinformation should be banned no matter what their political orientation is.
If there are “left extremists” that spread misinformation & then encourage/incite violence, they should be deactivated from their social platforms. It’s wrong no matter who does it.— farakeet (@farakeet) January 7, 2021
The US president has also seen his accounts suspended on Snapchat and Twitch for violations of the platforms' rules.
On Wednesday, as the US Congress convened to certify the results of the presidential election, Trump told his supporters, who assembled for a rally in Washington, DC, that the election was "stolen" from them and he will not concede to the results.
Shortly after that, his supporters interrupted the Congress' joint session as they stormed and broke into the US Capitol building. Law enforcement used tear gas and stun bombs to disperse the crowd and, according to the police, four people were killed in the demonstrations. Donald Trump, in turn, urged his followers to uphold law and order and to go home "in peace".
After the interrupted session, the US Congress reconvened and finally certified Joe Biden’s election victory.