The debate over deplatforming Trump has overshadowed how effective social media bans are at fighting extremism.
Within days of the January 6 Capitol insurrection, outgoing President Donald Trump’s internet presence was in upheaval. Trump’s social media accounts were suspended across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitch, and TikTok.
The same was true for many of Trump’s more extremist followers. Twitter suspended more than 70,000 accounts primarily dedicated to spreading the false right-wing conspiracy theory QAnon. Apple, Google, and Amazon Web Services banned the right-wing Twitter alternative Parler, effectively shutting down the site indefinitely (though it’s attempting to return) and relegating many right-wingers to the hinterlands of the internet.
Permanently revoking users’ access to social media platforms and other websites — a practice known as deplatforming — isn’t a new concept; … Read the rest...