It feels like a lifetime ago now but it’s actually less than a week since Twitter called time on US President Donald Trump. And, even this soon afterwards, it’s interesting to note the onward chain reaction of one decision by an influential but still private US-based tech company.
First, the big players. Google
made moves to prevent the distribution of Parler, where many of Trump’s supporters had already congregated and were heading following his suspension. YouTube removed content
on Trump’s channel and suspended him from uploading content for a minimum of seven days. Airbnb,
who rarely have to limit users, started reviewing reservations in Washington and banned users
that were involved in the attack on the Capitol while Twitter
followed up the ban by making changes to its civic integrity rules
and launching a new strikes policy (three for a 12-hour lock, four strikes for a one week ban, five for a permanent ban).
Jay Pinho, who writes the Networked newsletter, wrote
that the events of last week mean we’re all looking at a ‘larger, more chaotic, but still, very much ad-hoc amalgamation of disparate content policies forged in the wake of increasingly horrifying behaviour.’ That’s certainly what it feels like to me.
But at least it will make writing, and hopefully reading, EiM very interesting over the coming months.