Just how comprehensive the current push to “once and for all” silence political opponents and drive them out of some of the biggest internet platforms becomes clear when fintech companies start joining in the fray.
San Francisco and Dublin based Stripe, a US company that processes payments for ecommerce sites and apps has joined in the anti-Trump campaign now to cut off services to his campaign website.
These reports betray a clear pattern where the still sitting US president is accused of responsibility for acts of violence and accordingly punished by private companies, gargantuan and small alike.
The reason given is that the Trump campaign is violating terms and conditions pertaining to “encouraging violence.” It would also appear that not all acts of violence are “born equal” since, for instance, the multi-month unrest in the US earlier in the year didn’t see a similar deplatforming effort of its leaders and organizations.
But now, Twitter has banned the president’s account permanently, more or less with the same explanation, while more financial pressure is mounting from massive banks and financial companies who are said to be “pausing” funding for Republicans.
Deplatforming of this magnitude – removing somebody’s voice and ability to reach supporters and opponents alike, is not extraordinary in its scope in the current moment alone, but also begs the question of the future of Trump’s movement – or any movement that challenges what these highly influential tech companies are clearly aligning themselves with politically and ideologically.
In addition to this, anyone thinking they may be able to communicate outside of the highly controlled, centralized environments like Twitter and Facebook will have to think twice now that Apple and Google are banning the Parler app.
But make no mistake, there are many unabashedly authoritarian regimes around the world who are not usually even trying to make excuses or rationalize their anti-democratic behavior, but who must be paying extra close attention to the goings-on in the US, taking notes, and realizing that they are getting these unprecedented censorship pointers for free.