Rhodes: Government Will ‘Have to Step in’ if Social Media Won’t ‘Step up’ – Question of Whether Booting Trump Should Be up to Twitter

During MSNBC’s Inauguration coverage on Wednesday, former Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said that there are huge questions on “whether or not someone has to step in and regulate these platforms so that it’s not left to the CEO of Twitter to make a decision to kick President Trump off a couple weeks before his term ends” and that if social media companies don’t “step up” then “government’s going to have to step in as well.”

Rhodes said, “I think from a policy perspective, Nicolle, there are big questions about the future of social media in this country, whether or not someone has to step in and regulate these platforms so that it’s not left to the CEO of Twitter to make a decision to kick President Trump off a couple weeks before his term ends and after the Democrats have won back control of government. But rather, can government work with these tech companies to determine how they can at least slow the spread of this poisonous disinformation?”

He later added that “[T]he reality is, these social media companies, they’re American companies. And they have a determination, are they going to allow the darker currents of American society to spread unchecked on their platforms, or do they want to be a part of the type of story that Joe Biden was telling today, a country where — that is great because we look out for one another, a country that is great because we celebrate our differences instead of being sent into social media bubbles where we stew about them and hate the other side? And so, I think Joe Biden’s appeal today, out of the gate, sets a tone for a presidency that says, look, we’ve been through so much. We’ve just been through a nightmare four years, four years that represented, I think, the darkest aspects of the American story. All of us have a responsibility now, starting from the presidency, starting from the White House, but to those social media companies, to Facebook, and to all of us as citizens to realize, to wake up to just how close we came to losing it all. We saw on January 6 how close we came to losing this precious democracy that Joe Biden now declared today has prevailed. But for that to continue to be the case, we need everybody to step up here and that includes social media, and if they won’t, that means that government’s going to have to step in as well.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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