The Twitter and Facebook ban on Trump and others is quite controversial. What is your take on it, and how do you see the regulatory battle unfolding in the coming months and years? How does it affect the traditional media?
Social media platforms have existed in a grey area for a long time; because they haven’t been regulated in the same way as publishers, their role in spreading disinformation has been unchecked. The true impact of this has been brought into sharp relief around the pandemic, with the QAnon movement, and of course the wild disinformation following the presidential election, which threatened to spiral out of control and may yet have caused permanent damage to American politics.
The recent bans on some accounts, including that of Donald Trump, have come after clear and persistent violations of Twitter and Facebook’s policies. Some argue that these bans should have come about sooner. This is extremely serious stuff, with real-life consequences, as we’ve seen recently with the Capitol insurrection and the kind of dangerous lies that have spread around Covid-19. It’s no exaggeration to say that this kind of disinformation has cost lives.
Again, I think the role of traditional media is to rise above that and make sure people can turn to us to get the facts. It’s often been said in the social media age that people first hear about something on social platforms and then turn on CNN to see if it’s true. It is vital that we and other professional news organisations continue to play that role in society.
The article was taken from BizCommunity’s latest interview with Mike McCarthy.