Thursday, Jan 20, 2022
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Rules Of The Game

Compare the Trump ban, and India’s Twitter suspensions. It’s clear that social media has only one politics: profit. That’s not enough. It’s time for independent regulation.

Rules Of The Game
Rules Of The Game -

The past few weeks have been rather tumultuous on social media. It started with Twitter’s permanent ban on Donald Trump on January 8, and quickly extended to other forms of social media like Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Reddit, Twitch and even Shopify. Recently, in India, on the instruction of the ministry of electronics and IT (MeitY) numerous Twitter accounts were banned. They were subsequently restored by Twitter, though MeitY remains unhappy with this action. Then there is the ongoing GameStop saga, fueled mostly by Reddit users where retail investors took on hedge funds in a classic David and Goliath fashion.

The rapid succession of these events suggests that it is time to reflect on the future of social media—both in terms of lessons learned and what this might portend for the future. While some have imagined that Twitter has a leftist bias bec­ause it suspended Trump’s account, here it has followed the diktats of MeitY and suspended the accounts of many who are perceived to be leftist. In fact, the only thing this reveals is that social media platforms like Twitter do not take sides, they do what is necessary to preserve their stock value and satisfy their shareholders. Trump’s account was suspended only after he had lost the election and what happened in India was only at the behest of the government.

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