Chances are by now that you’ve heard that Donald Trump’s Twitter account was shut down for 11 minutes recently. It wasn’t just simply that he couldn’t tweet or that the account was suspended; during that time period, anyone searching for the president’s account on Twitter was simply told that the account was nowhere to be found.
This seems to bring some liberals joy. Slate’s Elliot Hannon wrote that it was “glorious.”
I disagree. You can hate Trump, wish for his impeachment, even hope for him to be dragged screaming in handcuffs from the Oval Office… all of that’s fine. But regardless of how you feel about the president, if you value free speech and oppose censorship, you should see this as a problem.
Twitter says this was caused by an (apparently rogue) employee on their last day at Twitter, and that they are looking into it. Whether or not you like the president, this employee, in effect, decided to shut down one of the primary communication outlets of the person who, like it or not, heads the government of the most powerful nation on earth.
No, I don’t find it glorious. I’m making an assumption here, but I would bet that employee would say he/she was opposed to Trump’s idea to take away NBC’s broadcast license (as legally impossible as that is given that NBC doesn’t have a license, affiliates do). But I digress. Not glorious, but likely hypocritical.
Hannon went on to gleefully talk about the wild conspiracy theories Alex Jones and his InfoWars team were probably dreaming up. He writes, “I’d love to be at the InfoWars "editorial" meeting where this explanation gets discussed. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess they’re not buying it.
I get it. It’s funny to get Alex Jones and his ilk riled up. But let’s not forget how wild conspiracy theories and theorists are able to gain credibility: by sprinkling their theories with elements of truth.
If I tell you there’s a liberal conspiracy to silence Trump, you might reflexively tell me I’m nuts. When I show you the Slate article about Twitter actually doing it for 11 minutes and liberals rejoicing, now I’ve forced you to at least entertain the fact that I might not be so nuts after all.
Leave the president’s Twitter account alone.
Jason Griffin (hey, that's me!) is a politically independent blogger and podcaster who is often wrong but insists on writing about politics anyway. If you enjoyed this post, please help support my work by following me on Facebook here.