Bill Maher, host of “Real Time,” said on Friday that it was “f**ked up” for Twitter to suspend the account of the U.S. Border Patrol chief for praising America’s southern border wall, the Daily Wire reported.
Maher interviewed former Google employee Tristan Harris about Big Tech’s massive influence over our daily lives. Maher eventually shifted the conversation to Twitter’s suspension of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan. Maher began by summarizing the situation to Harris before criticizing Twitter for the suspension.
“Can I read to you what was blocked on Twitter just last week?” Maher asked Harris, according to Fox News. “This is from the head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan. I don’t really agree with this comment, but this is what he said. He was talking about they’re continuing to build the wall every day, which is his domain. ‘Every mile helps us stop ‘gang members, murderers, sexual predators, and drugs from entering our country. It’s a fact. Walls work.’”
“I can take issue with some things in there but it’s an opinion!” Maher said. “This should not have been blocked! This feeds into that saying, ‘You just don’t want to hear anything that you don’t agree with!’ And this is a platform! Twitter is about expressing opinions. And here’s somebody who expresses an opinion, albeit I don’t agree with it, but then it’s like, ‘Well, my opinion doesn’t agree with your opinion so you can’t talk on my platform about opinions.’ That’s f—ed up too.”
Harris, who appeared in the documentary, “The Social Dilemma,” about. Big Tech’s control over the information we see, told Maher that social media companies struggled between “freedom of speech” and “freedom of reach.” He continued by sharing with Maher that just because users have a “football stadium-size audience” does not mean the companies will let them say what they want “without accountability.”
“So what is the answer?” Maher then asked. “How do you protect free speech while not looking like you’re censoring? … There is no bulls— detector.”
Harris said the social media companies have led the “downgrading of our attention spans, our critical thinking, our ability to form an opinion that isn’t in the hyper-present.”
“The business model, so long as we’re the product which is the point we make in the film, we are worth more when we’re addicted, distracted, outraged, narcissistic, polarized, and disinformed than if we are a thriving citizen, an informed citizen of a democracy,” Harris said, according to Fox. “And so just as Justin [Rosenstein], who’s the inventor of the ‘like’ button who’s in the film says in the end, ‘So long as a whale is worth more dead than alive and a tree is worth more as 2x4s than as a tree,’ in this new model of this attention business model, we’re the whale, we’re the tree. We’re the thing that’s being mined.”
This same kind of censoring is nothing to new for President Donald Trump, who, according to Libby Emmons of The Post Millennial, had 13 of his last 40 tweets censored by Twitter as of Friday.
Emmons tweeted: “I do wonder what will happen now that big tech thinks it has the backing of the new exec: will they be emboldened to censor conservatives even more? Twitter has censored 13 out of the past 40 Trump posts.”
The outlet reported that “most pundits are predicting that further censorship is in the works, as the President continues to tweet about alleged voter fraud occurring all over the country.”
The New York Post reported that Twitter has been actively hiding posts on Trump’s timeline so that they are not visible unless one has a specific link to the given tweet.