Donald Trump calls for countries to ban Twitter and Facebook after Nigeria takes that very step in a completely hypocritical suppression of speech. This suggestion completely violates the principle of Republicans being all about free speech, as Twitter and Facebook are speech platforms. This also violates the long-standing Republican principle of promoting free markets and lax regulation of businesses. But now that Trump has been banned from virtually every social media site, the right has had to reshape its arguments, even if it makes them look like total hypocrites in the process.
Trump said in a statement that later made its rounds on social media: “Congratulations to the country of Nigeria, who just banned Twitter because they banned their President. More COUNTRIES should ban Twitter and Facebook for not allowing free and open speech — all voices should be heard.” Completely lost in this conversation are the free speech rights of these private companies, which now Republicans are trying to bring to an end. Also, if Republicans were correct on their theories about markets, they wouldn’t need to ban Twitter and Facebook to come up with a solution. They could try to consolidate behind one or two right-wing social media sites that would allow them to post whatever they want. The problem is, that’s a lot easier said than done, and since they can’t compete in the marketplace, the right’s new approach is to try to silence its opposition.
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