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Bernie Sanders says he doesn't 'feel comfortable' with Twitter ban on Trump

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 3/24/2021 Kaelan Deese
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Sen. Bernie Sanders said he does not feel "comfortable" with Twitter's ban of former President Donald Trump, expressing some concerns about the power dynamics of social media companies.

The Vermont independent was asked by the New York Times about his thoughts on Trump's removal from Twitter following the Jan. 6 Capitol siege, an incident some critics have said was inspired by Trump's ability to rally supporters through the social media platform.

"Do I feel particularly comfortable that the then-president of the United States could not express his views on Twitter?” Sanders told the outlet. “I don’t feel comfortable about that," the senator added in the report that was published on Tuesday.

Twitter first announced the permanent suspension of Trump on Jan. 8, citing a “close review of recent tweets from” the former president’s personal account. It said in a blog post that the suspension was “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.“

In a statement to the Washington Examiner, a spokesperson for Twitter said Trump's account is permanently suspended due to violation of the "Glorification of Violence Policy," adding, "We explain this decision in this blog published in January." Twitter said there are no further updates on this decision.

At the time of Trump's suspension, Twitter said the policy “aims to prevent the glorification of violence that could inspire others to replicate violent acts and determined that they were highly likely to encourage and inspire people to replicate the criminal acts that took place at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.”

Trump was even impeached, a second time, by the House on a charge of incitement of insurrection in connection to the U.S. Capitol riot, but he was acquitted by the Senate.

Republican allies of Trump have railed against the decisions by social media companies to bar the 45th president, and some of his supporters have flocked to alternative platforms such as Parler and Gab after several legacy social media platforms started banning accounts spreading election fraud claims that have been roundly rejected by the courts and election experts.


Aside from Twitter, Trump has been banned from platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Financial companies such as Shopify have taken down two online stores affiliated with Trump, and the company Stripe has said it will no longer process payments for Trump's campaign.

Despite Trump's limited reach to the public post-ban, he has resorted to sending press releases through his Save America PAC to keep his supporters up to date on his latest political statements.

Jason Miller, an adviser to Trump, told Fox News over the weekend that the former president is set to return in the next two or three months through the creation of "his own platform."

Sanders did not deter from his criticism of Trump on Tuesday but aimed his critique at Twitter's ability to remove any person it believes violates the company's terms of service, a power the senator argued is too strong for "a handful of high-tech people."

“Look, you have a former president in Trump, who is a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, a pathological liar, an authoritarian, somebody who doesn’t believe in the rule of law," Sanders said. "This is a bad news guy."

Sanders said he is unsure on how to balance banning alleged claims of “hate speech and conspiracy theories” while protecting free speech but added: "It is an issue that we have got to be thinking about."


The senator said: "I don’t like giving that much power to a handful of high-tech people, but the devil is obviously in the details, and it’s something we’re going to have to think long and hard on, and that is how you preserve First Amendment rights without moving this country into a big lie mentality and conspiracy theories."

Tags: News, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump twitter, Twitter, Ban, Donald Trump, Congress

Original Author: Kaelan Deese

Original Location: Bernie Sanders says he doesn't 'feel comfortable' with Twitter ban on Trump


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