- Bernie Sanders said on a New York Times podcast that he wasn’t comfortable with Twitter banning Trump.
- Sanders described Trump as a “racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, a pathological liar.”
- But he didn’t like a “handful of high-tech people” having so much power over public discussion, he said.
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Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday raised concerns about Twitter banning former President Donald Trump.
Sanders said on the “The Ezra Klein Show” that Trump was “a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, a pathological liar, an authoritarian, somebody who doesn’t believe in the rule of law.” But Sanders added that he didn’t “feel particularly comfortable” about tech companies having so much power over public discussion.
Twitter suspended Trump’s account in January “due to the risk of further incitement of violence” following the US Capitol riots, the company said. This came a day after Facebook blocked Trump’s account for the same reasons.
Sanders said social-media sites shouldn’t allow “hate speech and conspiracy theories” on their platforms, and that the internet shouldn’t be used for “authoritarian purposes and insurrection.” But he wasn’t sure how to strike a balance between censorship and taking action against online hate, he said.
He didn’t like a “handful of high-tech people” having so much power, he said.
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“Yesterday it was Donald Trump who was banned and tomorrow it could be somebody else who has a very different point of view,” he said.
The Vermont senator said the US must consider how it will “preserve First Amendment rights without moving this country into a big lie mentality and conspiracy theories.”
His comments come three days after he criticized Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for owning “more wealth than the bottom 40% of people in this country.”
He said the “level of greed and inequality is not only immoral. It is unsustainable.”
Musk responded on Twitter, saying he was “accumulating resources to help make life multiplanetary.”