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Twitter and Facebook, the monopoly of opinions

Mashari Althaydi

Published: Updated:

Twitter is playing the guardian over people’s opinions, including heads of state. For instance, Twitter recently deleted a tweet it deemed inappropriate by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. Nigeria responded by banning Twitter in the country.

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Commenting on this incident, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that “the information monster cannot dictate to countries how to live.” She added, “This is exactly what we are discussing in a session dedicated to digital sovereignty and a unified information space.”

On February 24, 2021, I published an article entitled “Long live digital independence!”, where I described the tutelage practices of social media platforms as follows, “they are asking for the nationalization of the Internet for the benefit of comrades from the Obamaist revolutionary front. Some forces, like Russia, are trying to resist and want to create their own Internet network like China. These countries certainly have their political reasons. But is it really possible to achieve digital independence, or is it too late?”

Meanwhile, Facebook announced the suspension of former US President Donald Trump’s account for two years. To justify this oppressive measure in the name of modern liberalism, Facebook's vice-president of global affairs Nick Clegg said, “At the end of this period, we will look to experts to assess whether the risk to public safety has receded.”

So, who are these experts? What standards will they use to decide? Will they include the Yemeni Tawakkol Karman linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and whom Facebook previously appointed to its oversight board?

Trump described this hostile decision against him as a “total disgrace” and he said that social media companies “must pay a political price.”

Former US President Donald Trump's personal Twitter account. (Screengrab)
Former US President Donald Trump's personal Twitter account. (Screengrab)

If Trump had been elected for a second term, he might have fulfilled his promise to subject platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and others to the publishing law, in contrast to the current chaotic situation. If social media platforms were subject to the publishing law, which is an absolute and indisputable humanitarian law, they would not have made billions, tampered with the security of countries, and imposed their dangerous extremist, leftist agenda.

India recently took a serious position towards Twitter, by imposing new rules on the company to regulate content on social media and make companies such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter more legally accountable.

A letter from the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to Twitter stated that the company failed to provide it with the name of a Chief Compliance Officer. “Failure to comply will lead to Twitter losing exemption from liability under the IT Act and draw penal provisions,” the letter added.

Like China and Russia, India is a huge market. Maybe these countries can achieve digital independence and get rid of the harm of these companies and their managers from the insane left, the new rich, and the intellectually immature regardless of their age. The worrying question now is, what about us Arabs?

This article was originally published in, and translated from, the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat.

Read more:

Long live digital independence!

Is Twitter’s suspension of Trump justified?

When social media sites play politics

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.