The undemocratic risk of social networks

Donald Trump has wanted, in recent days, start his comeback. We don’t know if he really thinks he’ll show up in 2024: that would be surprising. We know, however, that he wants to exist politically.

The man is energetic, of course, but he struggles to renew himself and mentally locks himself in the myth of electoral fraud. His speech was laborious. Trump is making the same mistake he made in his 2020 campaign: he is stepping forward, but not carrying an agenda that could, beyond a few slogans, sketch a vision for the future for the United States.

Nevertheless, no matter what one thinks of him, he remains a central figure in American politics. He still dominates the Republican Party. He even embodies, for now, the main opposition to Joe Biden.

Trump

This raises the question of his presence on Twitter.

A few weeks ago, Trump lost access to his Twitter account. He was banned for life. In other words, knowing the role that social networks play in contemporary politics, he was expelled from the public space. A little too quickly, several applauded.

But it is more than a man, as troubled as he is, who has been driven out: it is a whole political current that is targeted through him.

Because Trump, let us not have the weakness to forget, gathered around his name more than 74 million voters last November.

And even if several Republicans are tired of him, he remains the spokesperson for a large part of the American people, who cannot be confused with the fanaticized oddballs who stormed the Capitol on January 6.

But the essential is elsewhere.

Is it really up to social networks, these supranational digital empires of our time, to decide who has the right to access public space? Do they really have to master the public debate?

Can they sort between legitimate opponents and those who are not? Are they entitled to ban from the city, according to the ancient laws of ostracism, a whole political current of democratic debate?

And who will be the next to suffer the same fate, and in which countries? Because they will come.

It is not a question of loving Donald Trump, but of recalling that in a democracy, no one has the right to muzzle or dissolve the one he does not like.

Above all, social networks show a terrible arbitrariness in their definition of what is acceptable and what is not.

Twitter

If they see hate speech in a tough or even subtle critique of diversity ideology (I’m not talking about Trump, here, who is less muscular than garish, and especially not subtle!), They don’t see it in those who hate to hate him the wicked white man, turned into the scapegoat of our time. Against him, hatred is allowed.

One thing is certain, this takeover of the public debate by Twitter and co. Is much more important than one wants to say it.

There it is, the real coup against democracy.

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