by Freddie Sayers
Thursday, 6
May 2021
Video
11:23

Why Trump should not be banned from social media

A debate from earlier this year seems relevant once again
by Freddie Sayers

Earlier this year, I participated in an Intelligence2+, debate arguing against the motion ‘Big Tech was right to de-platform Trump’. This was my opening argument.

Following yesterday’s decision from the Facebook Oversight Board to permanently ban the former president from the platform, it seems relevant once again. Excerpt below:

By going down this path [liberals] are granting the greatest corporate power in history, Big Tech, even more supra-governmental power than it had. But worse than this, they are unwittingly completing the destruction they think Donald Trump started: undermining the framework of liberal democracy and pushing us back towards a world where the powerful rule without regard for due process.

This was naked censorship: it involved no law courts and no democratic vote. It’s dangerous and no true liberal should support it. It might feel good now if your team has the upper hand but the principle of censoring your opponents is going to come back to haunt you. Next time it won’t be your friends who control the media platforms, it will be your enemies.

- Freddie Sayers, Intelligence Squared

 

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Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
1 year ago

Totally agree with Freddie. These people are NOT liberals or democrats and it will come back to bite them. Concentrating too much power in too few hands is never a good thing, whether it’s a politician or a corporation.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

I hope it bites them like a pit bull dog.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

The Left today tends towards fascism. Yes, frightening.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
1 year ago

Progressives have become regressives.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
1 year ago

Progressives have become the cancel mob.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago
Reply to  Elizabeth W

Progressive = Hate. They are never about uplifting, it is all Retributive, or taking, or punishing, or getting back at, or shutting up, or closing down. They hide behind the mask of helping one group, but in fact are about bringing the other group down. They level down, not up.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 year ago

If you favor silencing people, what are you afraid of them saying?

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

I am afraid of them twisting society, promoting hate and self doubt. It is called “Critical Race Theory’ and the ‘1619 Project’. And are fine as some kind of far Left Qanon loons, but are being taught in schools! Are required by private business, are required classes in University! No different than if Qanon theory was required in all schools, and was made the basis for HR policy.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 year ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

no one is silencing those people, just the ones who think CRT is rot.

Andrew Baldwin
Andrew Baldwin
1 year ago

Of course Freddie is right in believing Trump shouldn’t be permanently banned from Facebook. In fact, he should never have been banned at all. I was banned from Facebook myself before Trump ever entered office. I wasn’t told why and I didn’t ask. Zuckenberg is a jerk with an ego as big as a nebula, and I look forward to the day his leprous enterprise ceases to exist.
I do take issue with Freddie’s talk of Trump’s “despotic” language concerning the 2020 election. It’s not despotic to complain that you only lost an election due to voter fraud when there is good evidence that is the case. And it is simply not true that the courts have never supported his claims. See the February report by Matthew Vadum, “Trump Won Two-Thirds of Election Lawsuits Where Merits Considered.” (It was 15 out of 22 lawsuits at that time to be precise, a little over two thirds.) The shameless defenders of voting fraud have been so shrill and strident in their claims that it never existed that it seems even objective and well-informed journos like Freddie have been taken in by them.

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Baldwin

Freddie has been taken in because the fraudsters got it established that anyone who observed the election was rigged, was guilty of domestic terrorism. This was in itself state terrorism and we are seeing Trump’s lawyers being picked off Russian style one by one with FBI raids etc to intimidate all lawyers from ever representing Trump. No-one dares point any of this out because America is now a one party state, a police state.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Baldwin

I was asked to join Facebook as part of a group & the second time I must have signed in wrong & now I’m banned-me & Trump!

daniel Earley
daniel Earley
1 year ago

But, But, But….Trump!!! There’s your counter-argument.

Michael McVeigh
Michael McVeigh
1 year ago

Yip, whatever happened to ‘I disagree with what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it’.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago

Bill Bryson put it as ‘I disagree with what you say, but will defend to the death your right to be a complete a*s hole.’

Andrea X
Andrea X
1 year ago

Interesting discussion.
The problem, though, is still the lack of regulation that social media enjoy.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrea X

“In my opinion, Section 230 protects the platforms more than the users. Legal immunity for social media companies does not protect individual users the way people think it does. It protects tech companies and interactive computer services that host any type of third party content from getting sued.” (from ruby media group)
Social media has regulation they enjoy, which protects them.

The issue is they are now the Virtual ‘Town Square’ IN FACT, and so should fall under the first amendment, but instead are regulated like a private golf club. Facebook needs breaking up like ATT was – it is a monopoly, and thus is not a private gold club.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago

It seems that censorship evolved around the claim that Russia caused a Trump win by disinformation on social media. Thus, we must stop such awful disinformation (because it allowed the wrong person to win an election). To my mind we are deluged with various pieces of misinformation all the time, yet we can sort it all. Then somehow we have hate speech, or hateful speech that we can likely ignore as well – turn the page, change the channel. Then there is excitement to riot or some such – that somehow we can fuel a revolution but only those approved (by our masters) revolutions. The social media platforms need to be carriers not arbiters of speech. If it’s not illegal, it posts despite being angry, wrong, mean, whatever. Users simply ignore what they dislike and can evaluate information as they please.

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
1 year ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

Yes, speech should only have to be lawful, not what is acceptable to a certain mindset which is able to use the words hate and harm to eliminate its political opponents. It was chilling listening to Mrs Stephen Kinnock justifying what they are doing. She said they are “keeping people safe.” Even Orwell didn’t think of that one.

Jim McNeillie
Jim McNeillie
1 year ago

As a thinking person, I actually agreed with some of Trump’s views, some of which seemed not only correct, but obvious.
I could never support him as a political leader, however, as doing so would be equivalent to saying “lying is OK”. It’s not.
And saying “his opponents have also lied” doesn’t make lying OK. Especially when one (as has been said of Trump) “lies as he breathes“.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

As that great Cistercian, Arnaud Amalric said “Kill them all, let God sort them out”.*

(*During the Albigensian Crusade).

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago

“Nuke them till they glow, shoot them in the dark”*
(*some Far Right Loon during the Iran hostage situation)

James Moss
James Moss
1 year ago

I don’t much bother about the rights and wrongs of it – if it means I hear/see/read less of him, I’m happier that way. Martyrs can seek out his dim pronouncements if they wish.

David Hartlin
David Hartlin
1 year ago
Reply to  James Moss

Ah yes, the old head up ones @rse ploy guarantees happiness.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
1 year ago
Reply to  James Moss

What about if this was about someone you agreed with?
Maybe free speech that is just for those you agree with isn’t so ‘free’ after all?

Andre Lower
Andre Lower
1 year ago

The author clings to the trick of mixing up 2 clearly different elements: Political allegiance and legal transgression.
Disgusting as Donald Drumpf is (and that speaks to my political allegiance), his political stance was never the reason justifying his banning from social media. He was banned because he abused his access to social media to promote violence.

So no, the author’s argument holds no water – just like Trump, I will be risking being censored only if I actually were to violate the law (e.g. inciting violence), which I have no plans to do anyways. There are no grounds for me to fear censorship over my political allegiance.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago
Reply to  Andre Lower

He was banned because he abused his access to social media to promote violence.” Which he never did, You Identified His Words As Promoting Violence, very different to what he actually said. But as this is the Nu-Liberal criteria for establishing ‘Truth’ (one’s truth) this is enough for you to ‘burn the witch’.

Jim McNeillie
Jim McNeillie
1 year ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

He told his followers to take back your country from the lying Democrats, who have illegally stolen the election. Was that an encouragement to write their congressmen and turn out for the next vote?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 year ago
Reply to  Andre Lower

show me the quote that promotes violence. I’ll wait. Groups like antifa and BLM, meanwhile, not to mention a significant number of Dems in Congress HAVE called for violence. The sitting VP was pushing a bail fund for looters and rioters. Yet, no platform has taken even the slightest step against those.
There are no grounds for me to fear censorship over my political allegiance. Tell that to the multiple medical professionals who have been silenced across FB and LinkedIn for daring to buck the preferred narrative. Tell that to the multiple people and groups who’ve been deplatformed for not genuflecting to leftist belief. This isn’t about Trump, per see; if this can be done to a president, it can surely be done to the proles.

dianahodson1957
dianahodson1957
1 year ago

Is sad that only extremist right -wingers are fighting against New World Oder,which Coronavirus was invented for. Trump did one hell of a lot of damage, Who ‘s the great protagonist ideal to judge whether unacceptable views should be banned on Social media?

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
1 year ago

I believe UnHerd should be forced to publish my opinions on the front page, and should stop filtering below the line comments for rude words and randomly deleting them. Anything else is naked censorship.

James Rowlands
James Rowlands
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

Nobody is interested in your opinions. However, lots of concerned “deplorables” were interested in Trump’s.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
1 year ago
Reply to  James Rowlands

Then they can read them on his new website. So-called conservatives complaining about what private companies do with their property deserve the sort of reductio argument I gave above.
(There’s a reasonable argument that companies lower down the protocol stack shouldn’t be allowed to censor as readily, i.e. your ISP shouldn’t cut you off for being a deplorable, not least because they’d have to be monitoring your traffic to tell you are one. But there are plenty of other websites.)

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

Despite disagreeing with almost everything you say, I would much prefer to read what you think than to have someone else decide I’m not allowed to.

Last edited 1 year ago by Brian Dorsley