Donald Trump should never be allowed back on mainstream social media platforms, according to Color of Change. The organization, co-founded by Van Jones, is responsible for getting Trump “permanently banned” from Twitter and suspended from Facebook for two years in 2021.
Recently, Jade Magnus Ogunnaike, the vice president of Corporate Power at Color of Change, spoke to rolling out about the danger of Trump getting back on social media platforms.
What are the dangers of Trump returning to social media?
We were actually engaged in meetings and negotiations with both Twitter and Facebook since 2016. Every time Donald Trump did something, like escalate nuclear war with North Korea, call out private citizens and asked for violence against them, we went to Twitter and Facebook. We were meeting with them to get him off the platform.
The thing about tech companies is that their business model is based on attention, good or bad. So whether you’re a White Nationalist that’s saying horrible things for attention or a person like maybe one of us who is trying to reply to the White Nationalist to fact-check them or call them out for being an idiot, regardless, social media companies get paid.
That’s why they wanted to keep Trump on the platform. He’s great for engagement. He is polarizing, and we know that polarization and extremism on an online platform is what wins. Saying the nuance or kind thing is not going to get you many replies or likes. Saying the crazy thing, the thing that sparks conversation and discussion, for better or for worse, Donald Trump is a master of creating media moments, so platforms like Facebook and Twitter put money and engagement over our livelihood and safety.
We see what happened on Jan. 6. He used the platforms of Facebook and Twitter to ask these people, demanding people show up with violence. We saw it during the 2020 protest when he said, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” The President of the United States said that on Twitter, and Twitter said, “It’s OK. He’s such an important person. We don’t want to take him down.”
Finally, after the insurrection, after a meeting with Color of Change, Twitter and Facebook did take him down. Facebook restored Donald Trump.
A couple of days later he’s back on social media, saying what he said, “Violence and destruction. They’re getting ready to arrest me. Everybody take to the streets.” We see platforms like Facebook and Twitter putting Donald Trump engagement and money over our livelihood and safety. I don’t think our country can afford another Jan. 6, or another insurrection. We shouldn’t have to be afraid of violence when we go outside because the former President of the United States is using these platforms to reach millions of people and incite violence.
Facebook and Twitter have blood on their hands, and as long as they have him on the platform, they will continue to stoke violence.