Ethereum Co-Founder Vitalik Buterin: ‘Parler Has a Right to Exist,’ Apple, Google, Amazon Denying Access to ‘Common Infrastructure’

Ethereum Founder and Inventor Vitalik Buterin

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin called out the Big Tech Masters of the Universe and their “attempts at bringing down Parler,” sharing his concerns about “tech CEOs” having the ability to “run roughshod over democratically elected officials.”

“The attempts at bringing down Parler are very worrying. Apple, Google, AWS are much more like ‘common infrastructure providers’ than a social media site is. Parler has a right to exist, full stop,” tweeted Buterin on Tuesday. Buterin is the co-founder of Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency in the world by market value.

Buterin’s tweet was part of a lengthy Twitter thread, in which the Ethereum co-founder explained his concerns regarding the moves made by big tech companies in the last week.

“The fact that so many people who would normally never support such corporate power are now cheering tech CEOs running roughshod over democratically elected officials deserves some introspection,” noted Buterin in his Twitter thread.

“For me, Jack banning Trump violates one principle of liberal-democraticness (Jack was not elected by a vote), but the event was a huge win for another principle of liberal-democraticness: separation of powers,” he added.

“There’s a lot of benefit to be gained from having control over social media and control over the vast levers of governments be under somewhat independent hands. Two centers of power ensures that when one breaks the other can pick up the slack.”

“One important point: the set of Twitter users is not the USA. Using @glenweyl’s lingo, the ‘natural polity’ of Twitter does not map well to any single country. So any US-centric governance model for Twitter is likely to have many problems.”

“But at the same time, there are huge flaws in the Jacktatorship of today. A big one is: it’s not ‘lawful’ enough. The @TwitterSafety high court’s opinion is honestly poorly argued and reads like after-the-fact justification,” added Buterin, who went on to mentions tweets that are still up, in violation of Twitter’s so-called moderation policies.

“There’s plenty of arbitrariness and inconsistency in Twitter moderation,” said Buterin, noting that a tweet by Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei claiming that Israel is a “malignant cancerous tumor in the West Asian region that has to be removed and eradicated.”

Buterin also mentioned a tweet by Slate, which states that “non-violence is an important tool for protests, but so is violence.”

“I think a global conversation medium is a valuable thing to have,” continued Buterin. “I worry that ‘default’ political philosophy (both liberal-democratic and otherwise) will push social media governance in a very state-centric direction, which risks rupturing any semblance of such a thing.”

“Crypto may actually have a role to play here: it’s a non-state-centric ecosystem that has had to grapple with tough political philosophy questions already,” he added. “But to achieve its potential it needs to get its head out of its sand and admit that certain challenges exist.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler at @alana, and on Instagram.


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