- Oct 25, 2017
Censor me if old.
On Wednesday, the White House launched a new tool for people to use if they feel they’ve been wrongly censored, banned, or suspended on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
“Too many Americans have seen their accounts suspended, banned, or fraudulently reported for unclear ‘violations’ of user policies,” the site reads. “No matter your views, if you suspect political bias caused such an action to be taken against you, share your story with President Trump.”
A Twitter spokesperson responded to the new tool saying, “We enforce the Twitter Rules impartially for all users, regardless of their background or political affiliation. We are constantly working to improve our systems and will continue to be transparent in our efforts.”
Facebook, Google, and YouTube did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Other members of the Trump family, like Don Jr., have also voiced concern of the deplatforming of right-wing activists. In a tweet last month, President Trump’s eldest son wrote “The purposeful & calculated silencing of conservatives on Facebook & the rest of the Big Tech monopoly men should terrify everyone,” after Facebook announced that it would banning conspiracy theorist Alex Jones along with other far-right pundits and activists.
IMO, defending Alex Jones like this should be seen as one of the biggest self-owns a rube like Don Jr can do. But what do I know...The tool also collects significant personal information from the user, and near the end invites users to opt into email newsletters from President Trump, “so we can update you without relying on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.” A separate question points users to an extensive user agreement, and makes clear that “you understand this form is for information gathering only.”
A later question asks the user what year the Declaration of Independence was signed “just to confirm you aren’t a robot.” This is an unorthodox anti-scripting technique, and a generally ineffective one, given the relative simplicity of automatically entering a number.
Censor me if old.