‘Big tech censorship’ is its own brand of misinformation

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Mr. Zirgulis’ Letter To The Editor published on Jan. 21, 2021 merits a response. I share his concern, “that the conversation is controlled by only a few”, such as local news outlets being owned and managed by national media corporations, both conservative and liberal. 

That said, I would like to point out that his reference to “big tech censorship” is its own brand of misinformation. 

Mr. Zirgulis’ letter is short on specifics, so it is not entirely clear what he is referring to, but let’s make an assumption and take for example Ex-President Trump’s removal from Twitter following the Jan. 6 insurrection riot at the Capitol. In reading Twitters’ explanation you can see that they were taking seriously the possibility of their own role in further violence by allowing Trump to use the platform for stoking the angry passions of some of his followers, which he did. 

Calling this “censorship” is a liberal use of the word if not a flat out misnomer since Twitter is a private entity, not a public policy making authority and has no power to universally censor anyone or negate their 1st Amendment rights. 

Like any American citizen, Trump is free to log on to any other platform that will have him and continue speaking his mind. On the other hand, if Twitter is seen as being complacent to more violence then they will surely pay a costly price in the court of public opinion and from a government already demanding “big tech” take more responsibility for their content. 

Therefore, Twitter shutting down Trump’s account was a corporate decision, not a political one, if it had been the latter then undoubtedly it would have happened long before the man used their platform to help incite a violent insurrection.

— George Dougherty

Culver City resident