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How does the power of the tech giant show through banning Trump’s account?

When Facebook and Twitter banned users and advocacy groups on Capitol Hill last week, the downloads of another app, Parler, increased again. However, in order to prevent the organization of similar behavior, Google and Apple removed Parler from the app markets, while Amazon shut down Parler’s web service.

Twitter banned President Trump’s personal account permanently. (Photo: GlobalNews)

On the website, Parler CEO John Matze affirms that he will not succumb to the pressure from anti-competitive objects, politically motivated companies and dictators who hate freedom of speech.

In reality, though, Matze doesn’t have many options. His free-speech social network was viewed by Google as an “ongoing and urgent danger to security and order”, while Amazon employees asked the company to “refuse all Parler services until it is removed. dropped the post that incites violence and Amazon followed suit. Apple also quickly followed the path of its peers.

With an ecosystem in the hands of a few “big men”, the application is not likely to survive without access to these mainstream channels. The door closed to Parler underlining the growing power that tech businesses wield. They have the right to decide what is allowed on the service and take prompt action. For years, Big Tech has stayed away from power debates by claiming content neutrality. But fake news and meddling in the 2016 US presidential election make one thing clear: companies with their algorithms and content management have a big impact on real life.

Today, under pressure from lawmakers, human rights activists and even employees, Big Tech realizes the power and responsibility they have to assume in public discussions online, including on the app they don’t create. That power has caught the eye of the US authorities as Google and Facebook are facing antitrust lawsuits by the government. At the same time, they have been criticized for their lack of seriousness in content censorship, and for being too permissive with words capable of inciting violence or committing crimes in the real world.

Recent moves by Facebook and Twitter such as permanently banning the account of US President Donald Trump or banning Google’s Parler, Apple has received the support of politicians and critics. Many people question why it took them so long to make such a decision. Besides, it also aroused many concerns.

Kate Ruane, Senior Legislative Advisor at the American Civil Liberties Union, said that people should worry when companies like Facebook and Twitter use unregulated power to remove others from platforms. has become an integral part of billions of people. In particular, elimination decisions take place more quickly with political events. She hopes these companies adopt transparent rules for everyone.

Parler inherently met many obstacles. The company had to compete with much larger services of scale like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The social network has only been attracting attention since 2020. Supported by Rebekah Mercer, daughter of investor Robert Mercer, a Trump supporter, Parler was the flagship app on the App Store on Jan. 9 before prohibited. Parler’s function is quite similar to Twitter, where users post short messages on message boards for others to follow and interact with.

As Twitter and Facebook intensified their labeling, verifying the facts of Mr. Trump’s posts in recent months, some Republican politicians and prominent media figures encouraged supporters to follow them on Parler. . Due to its focus on right-wing users, seeking freedom, not being clamped down by Big Tech regulations, some Parler users complained that it was like an “echo chamber” of like minded people. rather than a place for debate like Twitter. Trump himself does not have a Parler account.

Parler was also found to be a place for users to plan rioting at Capital Hill. Twitter said it found evidence of the new riots scheduled for Jan. 17, while Facebook said it had removed 600 militarized groups and also banned posts containing weapons from the headquarters. government department.

According to independent technology analyst Bennedict Evans, there is never such a thing as “perfect regulation” but there is a difference between try and not. These issues are not related to the business model, it applies to all networks and models.

CEO Parler Matze encourages users to find ways to circumvent the law, such as using a website in a browser or installing on an Android phone from app markets other than Google Play. He also urged them to cancel Amazon subscriptions, stop using Apple, “call, write and email congressional members and congressmen to expose anti-competitive behavior”.

Even if the tech backbone has been disabled by Big Tech, Parler can still exist on a smaller scale. Google once banned Gab, another free-speech website from popularizing among right-wing extremists, in 2017 for violating hate speech. In 2018, Gab was banned by payment provider PayPal and domain name provider GoDaddy after a shooting that killed 11 people at a synagogue. Since the Capitol Hill incident, Gab has repeatedly tweeted about bans as a symbol of honor and noted the skyrocketing number of users, job applications, and new servers to maintain the website.

Gab posted on Twitter: “Transforming the bright paradigm of new platforms that advocate for free speech will happen overnight.” Gab also wishes CEO Parler “luck”.

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