After Trumps ban from Facebook and in fact nearly all social media on January 6th there was applause from the left and horror from some on the right. Others on the right were busy deleting photos with Trump and Trump praising posts from their Twitter feeds.
Few voices called this out for what it was. But then there began some debate and for a few days Social Media were headline news. Should the tech giants have the power to silence a president? What groups or persons ought they be able to delete from their platforms?
On Sunday 17th January Socialist Worker published this article in which they raise concerns about the de-platforming of Trump but offering no support or calls for solidarity in the face of such abuse of power by the social media giants. They omit to mention the purge that took and is still taking place on Twitter of perhaps hundreds of thousands of accounts. Socialist Worker do however warn of the precarious position they and activists on the left are in and state that some may in the future fall foul of the new censors axe.
And then a few days after publication the SWP page on Facebook was taken down. Today, after just a night of Revolutionary Socialist chit chat blackout it’s back up, apparently following a concerted campaign by very many supporters. The SWP page states that activitst’s accounts remain down and pressure needs to be maintained on Facebook to have all accounts re-instated.
Upon hearing of this further Zuckerberg outrage and unlike the SWP with regards to Trump and his supporters I immediately posted this:
On the SWP’s Facebook page I posted this in response to their statement – Facebook bows to pressure – now reinstate the rest of the accounts
‘They are not on anyones side. Great you’re back up. You could have been more supportive of Trump when he was banned though. A victory for the left against Trump is no victory if those same tactics can be used against those rejoicing. In this battle the left and the right and indeed the whole premise of freedom of speech is against the wall and so the effort to maintain equity and a voice for all must be a combined, both left, right and agnostic, one.’
I don’t think that the SWP get it, nor much of the left. Indeed, given the comments re the SWP ban, such as they are Anti-Semitic and racist (utterly ill informed claim), neither do much of the right. And this is how WE ALL loose in this.
Without a concerted effort to demand something akin to the Polish Governments disdain for the tech giants and in response to Trumps ban we are all eventually doomed to rattle around in our echo chambers with those who already absolutely agree with us, becoming increasingly polarised and potentially radicalised.
Enough of the partisan approach. THE MOST important thing in ANY society is personal freedom of expression no matter how tasteful or distasteful the words are. And they are just words.
I read somewhere once but can now find no reference to it that a man in France back in the day stated that the moon was made of cheese. He was eventually executed for this as somehow this statement was against the word of god, or something like that. Now, I would have defended his right to state the moon was made of cheese. Those prosecuting would have been absolutely offended by him and his perceived attack on the great man himself. Offence over time changes. We would now all stand by the hanged man.
We must all, despite our differences, stand by each other, in this, now.
Our ACTUAL freedom depends on this.
If you’ve enjoyed reading this please do support me. I’ve had NO FINANCIAL SUPPORT from the state, like, ever and certainly none through the Covid years. I have relied upon my savings which are now zero and the few walks I’ve been able to lead this year (I’m a self employed guided walks leader in Wales.)