This week, former President Donald Trump announced plans to launch a social media company to compete with Twitter, Facebook and Google.
Trump Media & Technology Group will run a “Truth Social” network intended to “fight back against the ‘Big Tech’ companies of Silicon Valley, which have used their unilateral power to silence opposing voices in America,” according to a statement released Wednesday.
As Americans remember, Twitter banned Trump from its platform following the Capitol incursion “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” Similarly, Facebook barred Trump for two years on account of “a severe violation of our rules.”
Both of these excuses were vague and nonsensical, as Trump clearly did not meet the high legal standard for “incitement of violence” and had actually told supporters on Jan. 6 to “peacefully and patriotically makes your voices heard.”
THE PRESIDENT OF PEACE 🕊
“I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard!” – President Donald Trump (Jan. 6, 2021) pic.twitter.com/SChqNdlfLX
— Republican Party of Arizona (@AZGOP) January 12, 2021
But Big Tech, along with its leftist allies in the legacy media, remained adamant that a president telling his supporters to “fight like hell” was a unique and dangerous sentiment in American politics — and that Trump was responsible for political violence.
Trump was right to note in Wednesday’s statement that “we live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favorite American President has been silenced.”
What constitutes harmful or dangerous content is entirely selective.
Not only do members of the Taliban have Twitter accounts, but Twitter users are allowed to advocate for human rights abuses — so long as the humans are unborn or the abuses protected on grounds of cultural relativism.
Big Tech platforms, despite being used to organize the Capitol riot, have suffered no consequences, whereas pro-free speech alternative Parler was removed from the internet for similar reasons.
Actual misinformation that fueled the Russian collusion conspiracy theory was a shot heard ’round the Twitter world; when The New York Times leaked Trump’s tax returns, Twitter allowed them to be disseminated on its site.
But the Hunter Biden email scandal was suppressed and the New York Post locked out of its account despite its now verified reporting. (Its transgression was reporting on a subject that would have been damaging to the Biden campaign.)
The message is clear: If your misuse of social media redounds to the benefit of right-wing causes, then it’s dangerous and democracy- or life-threatening. If it happens to serve progressive interests, then it will be not only excused but celebrated.
This is why Trump’s announcement should have conservatives celebrating.
Market competition and obstinacy are two keys to reversing authoritarian gains in politics and the culture.
If streaming platforms like Netflix or retailers like Amazon remove content from their platforms to placate leftists, then that content can be picked up by pro-freedom competitors. If social media companies, created to foster discourse, redefine “incitement of violence” according to the whims of progressive activists, then the speech they want to silence will come out elsewhere.
Reclaiming our society begins with practical moves like these.
This sort of action from Trump, aside from being key to his election in 2016, is part of what has revitalized the Republican Party, giving it the courage to fight back against cultural authoritarianism.
It is also what keeps a political figure like Trump relevant. The way progressives are abusing their power right now, it seems as if they want more of him — and this is how they’ll get it.