Twitter, Facebook and others have silenced Trump. Now they are learning the rest.



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The moves by Silicon Valley to kick President Trump off social media represent a show of power that companies have avoided for nearly four years. Now Twitter Inc., Facebook Inc. and others must consider what is to come.

Within days, Twitter and Facebook – M. Trump’s main social media megaphones took action to silence the president’s personal accounts or online communities dedicated to him, citing rules banning inciting content to violence. They were joined by companies such as Snap Inc. and Reddit Inc.

Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google also took steps to start Parler, a social media app and website that gained popularity among conservatives – and which some rioters had used to promote Wednesday’s attack on the United States Capitol, according to screenshots seen by The Wall Street Journal.

The actions against Mr. Trump and Parler illustrate more than ever the influence of companies on online conversations – and the political nature of their decisions. While hailed by many, the expulsion of the president and some of his supporters also infuriated others who said it amounted to censorship, and the measures risked driving out some users in a way that, in especially for Twitter, could reshape their businesses. It also illustrates the political nature of how they determine what content to remove, what to allow, and what to amplify.

“Rightly or wrongly, they made a political decision,” said Jonathon Hauenschild, director of the communications and technology working group of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative nonprofit group, of the movements. enterprises. Attention to tech giants “was here to begin. Now the spotlight is fully on, ”he said.

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