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Conservatives push back against big tech censorship: Nikki Haley says Twitter's ban of Trump is 'what happens in China'
Zach Gibson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Conservatives push back against big tech censorship: Nikki Haley says Twitter's ban of Trump is 'what happens in China'

'Canceling conservative speech will not promote unity and healing'

Nikki Haley reacted to the permanent ban of President Donald Trump on Twitter by comparing the action to the type of censorship that is practiced in Communist China.

Following the chaos at the U.S. Capitol, Twitter permanently suspended the account of Trump on Friday "due to the risk of further incitement of violence."

Haley, the United States ambassador to the United Nations from 2017 to 2018, weighed in on the banning of Trump on Twitter.

"Silencing people, not to mention the President of the US, is what happens in China not our country," Haley wrote on Twitter, and included the hashtag: "#Unbelievable."

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson echoed the comparison of the censorship by Twitter to the blacklist actions of China.

"Silencing a significant number of voters and erasing history is no way to unite us; it only further divides," Carson tweeted. "Big tech & social media platforms want to act like media orgs but don't want to be held accountable with the rest of media. Speech should be free whether you agree or not."

"You want to ban @realDonaldTrump, fine you're a private company, but @Twitter deleting the President's account which highlights this admin & its history is wrong," the former neurosurgeon said. "@Facebook & @instagram banning all images from the Capitol riot is a dangerous precedent to set. We aren't in China."

On Thursday, Facebook announced it would ban and remove photos and videos from the unrest at the U.S. Capitol building. The social network claims that photos and videos from the Capitol riots violate Facebook's policy of "promotion of criminal activity."

Even Mexico's president condemned social media companies for censoring Trump.

"I don't like anybody being censored or taking away from the right to post a message on Twitter or Face(book). I don't agree with that, I don't accept that," President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said on Thursday after Trump's social media accounts were suspended.

"How can you censor someone: 'Let's see, I, as the judge of the Holy Inquisition, will punish you because I think what you're saying is harmful,'" López Obrador explained. "Where is the law, where is the regulation, what are the norms? This is an issue of government, this is not an issue for private companies."

Conservatives on Twitter have been experiencing massive decreases in followers since Friday, many of which are calling it a "Twitter purge." The dramatic loss of followers on Twitter could be a result of a crackdown on accounts that share QAnon content. The social media platform vowed to boot right-wing conspiracy theorists off the platform. Michael Flynn and Sidney Powell were removed from Twitter on Friday.

Follower losses could also be from Trump supporters quitting Twitter as a form of protest. Conservative commentators Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, and Dan Bongino all deleted their Twitter accounts this week after being fed up with the censorship by big tech.

Many conservatives have flocked to Parler, a social media app that markets itself as a free-speech alternative to Twitter. However, Parler was removed from Google's app store on Friday and was being threatened with removal by Apple. The powerful app stores claimed that Parler had not done enough to combat violent speech on the social media app.

Some Republicans have criticized Twitter for stifling free speech, including Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

"What happened on Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol is as wrong as wrong can be," Jordan tweeted. "But canceling conservative speech will not promote 'unity and healing.' It will only divide us further."

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) warned how the social media "purge" was "profoundly dangerous."

"Big Tech's PURGE, censorship & abuse of power is absurd & profoundly dangerous. If you agree w/ Tech's current biases (Iran, good; Trump, bad), ask yourself, what happens when you disagree? Why should a handful of Silicon Valley billionaires have a monopoly on political speech?" Cruz said.

Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz said, "Big tech tyranny is playing out before our very eyes."

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