Australia’s eSafety Commissioner says Twitter ban doesn’t violate Trump’s free speech rights
Australia’s eSafety Commissioner says Twitter and Facebook are not suppressing free speech through their bans on US President Donald Trump because he was repeatedly warned for posting harmful content.
Twitter permanently suspended Mr Trump’s account at the weekend after previously temporarily suspending his account for violating their warnings about incitement of violence.
Meanwhile, Facebook has banned Mr Trump until the end of his presidency and possibly indefinitely.
Mr Trump took to the official US presidential Twitter account, @POTUS, to say his account suspension was “banning free speech”. That tweet and others made from the account were later deleted by the platform.
Australian eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman-Grant says social media platforms are not suppressing free speech because adequate warnings were issued to Mr Trump for posting content which could cause significant harm.
“Twitter had Donald Trump on their platform until the eleventh hour of this presidency,” she told Tony Jones, filling in for Neil Mitchell.
“They were all very transparent about why they were suspending him and then permanently removing him, and this was all around incitement to violence.
“Remember, four people did die in the Capitol and we did see partying among the Trump folks promoting this.”
Ms Inman-Grant says social media platforms must continue to be transparent about why they’ve censored or removed content to reduce claims that free speech is being infringed upon.
“Transparency is key to accountability and we need to see the platforms be more transparent about how they’re enforcing and applying their policies and explaining precisely why so there aren’t questions about whether this is suppression of freedom of speech,” she said.
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