The editorial staff of The Washington Post came in support of censorship in the midst of big tech’s ongoing efforts to shut down the social media platform Parler.
In the headline “Parls deserved to be taken down. We still need new rules for the Internet”, Posten described the app as a “fringe, laissez-faire social media site” that potentially gave President Trump another platform after his permanent ban against Twitter and suspensions elsewhere. But now even Parler is no longer an option for the president, as Apple and Google removed the app from its stores, and Amazon Web Services essentially pulled the plug throughout the program.
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“Mr. Trump and his supporters say they are victims of anti-conservative discrimination. Their complaints are not convincing,”
After acknowledging that the paper is owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the Post called for more “Internet regulation” to “ensure security.”
“If we want road rules for Twitters and Parlers of the Internet – such as rules on incitement to violence – they must be set by our elected representatives, not non-elected CEOs,” Posten explained. “And if we want these rules to be enforced fairly without targeting speech that is only unpopular, then we should insist that companies put in place systems of transparency, notice and appeal for their decisions.”
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The editors continued later, “Some will say that this puts us on a slippery slope towards unacceptable limitations in expression. They are right, but the alternative is violent rhetoric that is not controlled, which we now know may well result in violent action. It is time for the public to insist that the government do its job and set some rules that balance urgent freedom of expression with the need for public safety. ”
Parlors who describe themselves as a non-biased platform fighting for free speech had a huge rise among new users after Twitter announced that President Trump was permanently banned from his platform, prompting the president’s supporters to flee to it Trump-friendly app.
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Shortly afterwards, however, Parler himself has been under siege by liberal critics and other tech giants as it was accused of letting extremist rhetoric flow onto the platform after last week’s riots on Capitol Hill.
Parler retaliated against Amazon by filing an antitrust lawsuit against the Bezos-powered company.