Social media sites suspending President Trump: what experts say

Published: Jan. 7, 2021 at 5:01 PM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - In the past 24 hours president Trump has been suspended from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

He is now allowed back on Twitter, but the suspension for the other two social media sites last until he is out of office.

Assistant professor at CU Boulder Casey Fiesler told 11 NEWS she was a little surprised. She says this was one of the first times such drastic measures have been taken against someone of this magnitude.

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Fielser adds, this is an evolving process--largely because social media is relatively new--but really powerful for people like the president to reach the masses.

She says there is a fine line when it comes to what can and cannot be said on internet.

“So we often think about censorship as being kind of bad things like limiting the spread of ideas, etc., but also it’s technically censorship to remove hate speech,” she explained. “And Twitter has really struggled with that line over the past few years. And part of the reason is because people disagree greatly about the line between protecting people from harassing content or dangerous content and unreasonable censorship. That said, it is not a free speech issue. The First Amendment protects you from the government suppressing speech, not from Twitter suppressing speech.”

She adds other changes have been made to social media to help stop the spread of misinformation and says social media is playing an even bigger role in elections.

“It’s really only been in the past, say four years, that that has become a really evident and as a result, all of these platforms have really been scrambling to figure out how to deal with this. And I think with various amounts of success, but we’ve seen a huge amount of changes in terms of things like labeling misinformation.”

Snapchat has also reportedly block President Trump’s account.

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