It’s no secret that the titans of Big Tech are pushing as hard as they can to get Joe Biden elected and they really don’t care who knows it at this point. But one former Twitter executive is being more open and honest about the situation than most of his former colleagues. Peter D. Greenberger, the former global director of news partnerships at the social media giant, was offered space in the Washington Post (where else?) to vent his rage against President Trump and he took full advantage of it. Of course, when going after Trump, Greenberger uses tech-speak straight from the “options” menu in Twitter, suggesting that all of the social media platforms literally “mute” the President until after the election.
Trump’s place as the first Twitter president is secure. He has used the platform to govern via tweeted policy announcements, to berate adversaries both domestic and abroad, to communicate with (and occasionally disparage) his own administration officials and to exhort his supporters to action. Trump has also effectively used Twitter to distract, deflect and drive the news narrative nearly every day since he descended the golden escalator in Trump Tower to launch his campaign in 2015…
Increasingly, though, he is using these powerful digital platforms not only to communicate a message, nor even to send dog whistles to loyal supporters, but also as a dangerous bullhorn for causing chaos.
With millions of votes already cast and Election Day less than three weeks away, it is time for Twitter and Facebook to take away the digital bullhorn and mute the president. Trump should be silenced on both platforms until the winner of the election is determined.
This is now apparently what passes for reasoned analysis and commentary at the WaPo. With two weeks to go until an election, a high-powered executive from the world of Big Tech would like to see one of the candidates for the highest office in the land blocked from communicating with the voters on what is arguably the most ubiquitous platform available. I notice that Greenberger never suggests muting both candidates just to create a level playing field. (Not that Biden tweets that much anyway.)
The author had previously worked at Google, as well, serving as the director of their first political advertising team. More recently he was hired as the publisher at The Hill, no doubt leading to their increasingly Biden-friendly coverage of late.
Big tech has been engaging in attempts at election meddling all through this cycle and it’s been pretty much unanimously done in favor of liberals and Democrats. Instead of having people doing actual fact-checking for them, they’ve engaged in censorship. There’s really no other word for it. And since they are private companies who basically answer to nobody and they have no serious competitors, brands like Facebook and Twitter clearly feel that they can get away with virtually anything. Sadly, they’ve largely been proven correct, at least thus far. Any attempts by startups to create alternate options for users have remained down in the weeds when measured by their volume of users. (Gab is one of the best examples, though it looked like one of the most promising for a while.)
So do you think Jack Dorsey will listen to Greenberger? Is it conceivable that the head of Twitter would actually think himself so powerful and so untouchable that he could just shut down the President’s Twitter account until after the election? Perhaps not. But I’d be willing to wager that he’s feeling mightily tempted at the moment.