Following several tech companies temporarily banning President Trump from their platforms, Professor Olivier Sylvain shared his expert opinion on what could be next for the President and social media when his term ends.
As President Donald Trump remains locked out of Facebook and Instagram, and strangely quiet on Twitter following a 12-hour suspension, a question looms: Will the tech giants that have largely allowed the commander-in-chief to post falsehoods, insults and threats with impunity for years, finally ban Trump for good?
“After January 20, he’s no longer an elected public official, but … he’s still going to be a danger to the extent he spouts disinformation and falsity,” Sylvain said. “So I assume that they’re going to take this stuff down and permanently block him, but it’s tricky because he will still remain a public official if he decides to run for president (in 2024).”
Meanwhile, the issue of disinformation online doesn’t stop with public officials like Trump, Sylvain noted.
“The only reason that Twitter was posting labels on Trump’s account is because he’s a public official. The problem with intermediaries like Twitter and Facebook is that falsity and disinformation proliferates through bots and through generic laypeople users,” Sylvain said. “Do they have a plan for that? I don’t know.”