January 8, 2021
Editor’s Note: The link to this article published by the UK-based anti-censorship advocacy and research organization Spiked.com was broadcast to President Trump’s Parler followers in the midst of the 45th US President having been deplatformed by both Twitter and Facebook, and a few short days before the plug was pulled on the entire Parler site. We can’t think of a more flagrant example of being “memory holed” than this.
This week, Donald Trump was blocked indefinitely from Facebook. He was also handed a 12-hour Twitter suspension and three of his tweets were deleted. These moves came after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, with the president’s critics accusing him of inciting and then failing to condemn the violence in which five people died.
Some have pointed to these firms’ inconsistency. Twitter, for example, while censoring Trump, has taken no action against a tweet from the Chinese embassy in the US, which has framed the ethnic cleansing of Uyghurs as a form of re-educative liberation. ‘Study shows that in the process of eradicating extremism, the minds of Uyghur women in Xinjiang were emancipated, and gender equality and reproductive health were promoted, making them no longer baby-making machines’, a tweet by the embassy proudly announced. Apparently, celebrating the persecution of Xinjiang’s Muslims did not break Twitter rules.