To Censor or Not To Censor


Bella Koki, Junior Writer

How much do tech companies really influence your life? A lot more than you would think.

BigTech has meddled quite a lot in the American political scene. Composed of big companies like Apple, Google, Twitter, Facebook and Amazon, these companies have taken active steps to not only censor president Trump’s tweets, but have even gone as far as banning him completely- something that should be viewed as a threat to free speech and American democracy. 

To each his own is a good motto to live by when it comes to politics. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, whether you agree or disagree. However, BigTech has collectively decided to ban President Trump from its services due to recent tweets “inciting” the U.S Capitol riots and his political affiliations. 

Twitter and Facebook’s decision to ban Trump on their platforms has caused a trickle-down effect, leading to numerous other companies doing the exact same thing. On the surface, this may not seem like a huge deal, but when it is compared to the actions of dictatorships, it is actually a bigger threat.

Nevertheless, these companies are privately owned and have the right to do as they please. Additionally, since they are not a government corporation, they can decide what they will allow on their website. But this should not take away from the fact that it is demonizing to realize that they are able to control the information we receive and dictate our lives without concern.

America is one of North Korea’s biggest critics. We constantly criticize their use of propaganda to influence their citizens’ views. Ironically, the censorship placed by the tech giants could become a gateway to propaganda that could consume America. 

American’s pride themselves on free speech and freedom of the press, and this ban on Trump is completely counterintuitive to those rights. If BigTech can ban the sitting president of the United States from speaking his truth, by claiming it as false information by fact checkers, what makes Americans think that they cannot block out other important or controversial information? 

In response to these tyrannical actions, people have resorted to different apps such as Parler, where one can express their opinions freely. Apple and Google condemned this, and removed it off of their app stores. 

One can also note Twitter’s daunting priorities. They have banned the president with no problem, but have failed to remove other disturbing posts that feature violence and even child pornography. Were Trump’s tweets really more important than the child pornography that they are currently facing a lawsuit for?

Some may say this is an exaggeration, but this is how it begins. BigTech has removed thousands of posts regarding politics, but their latest and most substantial take against the president of the United States is a slap in the face to anyone who wants to maintain their free speech. 

The meddling of BigTech should not be taken lightly. And although they have a right to dictate what is on their websites, it is still concerning to see how much of an influence social media has on our everyday lives.