Richard Hernandez / LACES 11th Grade
On January, 6 2021, thousands of protestors supporting Trump stormed the capitol building as a means of protesting the election. Two days after the incident Twitter announced that the company would be suspending Donald Trump’s personal account permanently in order to prevent the incitement of violence. Following in the steps of Twitter, many other social media platforms like Youtube, Instagram, and Facebook have decided to permanently suspend Donald Trump’s account as well. Trump has since then been forced to move to conservative platforms like Parler and Gap, but Google and Apple have removed the Parler app from their app stores preventing users from downloading the platform. They all claim to have blocked Trump in order to prevent more violence, but the problem now becomes a matter of control over information and communication.
When big tech companies banned Trump from their platforms, we saw the power that they hold over our society. Big tech companies can control and manipulate information we receive which is a serious matter. Group polarization is the tendency of members of a group to feel more extreme about the idea they previously had when deliberating in a group with like-minded people. If big tech can block out information so freely and has the final decision in what the public sees, we can be heading towards a very divided nation and may never recover from the division we are already experiencing. If we allow big tech to filter information we receive we may be deceived or misled and it will only bring harm to our nation.
All these tech companies are private companies so they have the right to block and suspend whoever they want, however this power that the tech companies displayed should be a wake up call for many of us. Over the years tech companies like Instagram have been getting more and more invasive of user privacy without the public’s knowledge. They continuously collect data of users’ behavior and actions without them knowing. Society seems to be growing in similarity to the one in George Orwell’s 1984. Only time will tell what big tech chooses to do with their power and where they will draw the line with control over information.
<Richard Hernandez / LACES 11th Grade