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9 Jan, 2021 13:47

Tech oligarchs at Apple & Google are ‘major obstacles’ for Trump-friendly platform to arise – liberal studies scholar to RT

Tech oligarchs at Apple & Google are ‘major obstacles’ for Trump-friendly platform to arise – liberal studies scholar to RT

It will be hard for Donald Trump to create his own social media platform if it gets banished from services by Apple and Google who monopolized the market, author and liberal studies professor Michael Rectenwald told RT.

“The App Store and Google Play are definitely major obstacles for any other platforms to arise that would have Trump as a major feature,” said Rectenwald, who was a liberal studies professor at the New York University. 

Technological oligarchs have ways of boxing people out of the public square entirely. They also share profiles of all users and make sure certain users don’t have any access across the whole panoply of platforms.

“It’s not the end of the day for Trump, unless he has no platform left. And that is exactly what they’re trying to do... This is politically motivated censorship,” Rectenwald said.

The scholar noted that social media giants, like Facebook and Twitter, were given “a head start” by the government “that has allowed them to completely monopolize the marketplace.”

“In part, they were given special privileges by the government. The state exempted them from being treated as publishers, and yet they continue to act like publishers and editors,” he said. 

At the same time, some of Trump’s backers are now distancing themselves from the outgoing president, because his name has been “wrecked” by the dramatic storming of the Capitol.

“Right now, the name ‘Donald Trump’ is really something you don't want to be associated with whatsoever,” Rectenwald said.

Also on rt.com Shock and glee: Twitter’s ban of US President Donald Trump evokes shadow of Orwellian corporate dictatorship

On Wednesday, a mob of Trump supporters overpowered the police and broke into the Capitol building in Washington, DC, briefly disrupting the debate on the certification of the 2020 presidential results. Four people died in the ensuing chaos, including a woman who was shot by Capitol police, and an officer later died from injuries sustained during the clashes.

Although Trump urged his supporters to be “peaceful” and “go home,” he was accused of inciting violence and permanently banned from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, which is owned by Facebook.

In a series of since-deleted tweets from the official @POTUS account, Trump said he was studying “the possibilities of building out our own platform in the near future,” and promised that he would not be “silenced.”

On Saturday, Google suspended social network Parler from its Play Store, citing a failure to remove “egregious content.” Founded in 2018, Parler has become popular with conservative users, including Trump supporters.

BuzzFeed News cited an email from Apple threatening to remove Parler from the App Store unless it moderates “objectionable content” on its platform. “The app also appears to continue to be used to plan and facilitate yet further illegal and dangerous activities,” Apple was quoted as saying.

Parler CEO John Matze confirmed to Reuters that Apple threatened to remove the social media platform from the App Store unless its content moderation policy changes.

“We won’t cave to politically motivated companies and those authoritarians who hate free speech!” Matze wrote on Parler.

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