As Expected, Trump's Social Network Is Rapidly Banning Users It Doesn't Like, Without Telling Them Why
from the you-don't-say dept
Earlier this week we took a look at Donald Trump and Devin Nunes’ Truth Social’s terms of service, noting that they — despite claiming that Section 230 should be “repealed” — had explicitly copied Section 230 into their terms of service. In the comments, one of our more reliably silly commenters, who inevitably insists that no website should ever moderate, and that “conservatives” are regularly removed for their political views on the major social networks (and refusing to provide any evidence to support his claims, because he cannot), insisted that Truth Social wouldn’t ban people for political speech, only for “obscenity.”
So, about that. As Mashable has detailed, multiple people are describing how they’ve been banned from Truth Social within just the first few days — and not for obscenity. The funniest one is someone — not the person who runs the @DevinCow account on Twitter — tried to sign up for a @DevinCow account on Truth Social. As you probably know, Devin Nunes, as a congressman, sued the satirical cow account for being mean to him (the case is still, technically, ongoing). You may recall that the headline of my article about Devin Nunes quitting Congress to run Truth Social announced that he was leaving Congress to spend more time banning satirical cows from Truth Social.
And apparently that was accurate. Matt Ortega first tried to register the same @DevinCow on Truth Social, only to be told that the username was not even allowed (which suggests that Nunes or someone else there had already pre-banned the Cow). Ortega then tried other varieties of the name, getting through with @DevinNunesCow… briefly. Then it, too, was banned:
Note that the ban email does not identify what rules were broken by the account (another point that Trumpists often point to in complaining about other websites’ content moderation practices: that they don’t provide a detailed accounting).
So, it certainly appears that it’s not just “obscenity” that Nunes and Trump are banning. They seem to be banning accounts that might, possibly, make fun of them and their microscopically thin skins.
The Mashable article also notes that Truth Social has also banned a right wing anti-vaxxer, who you might expect to be more welcome on the site, but no such luck:
Radical anti-vax right-wing broadcaster Stew Peters complains that he's "being censored on Truth Social" simply for demanding that those responsible for the COVID-19 vaccine "be put on trial and executed." pic.twitter.com/Uf9WXA793A
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) February 22, 2022
And here’s the thing: this is normal and to be expected, and I’m glad that Truth Social is doing the standard forms of content moderation that every website needs to do to be able to operate a functional service. It would just be nice if Nunes/Trump and their whiny sycophants stopped pretending that this website is somehow more about “free speech” than other social media sites. It’s not. Indeed, so far, they seem more willing to quickly ban people simply because they don’t like them, than for any more principled reason or policy.