Popular social media platform Twitter announced plans today to ban the “Big Three” cable news networks —- FOX News, CNN, and MSNBC — from the platform, citing the “risk of inciting further violence” following a 2020 filled with rioting across America.
Twitter has long been sympathetic to politicians and news networks, offering penalty exemptions to pages considered newsworthy, notable or extremely profitable to the platform. In a recent post on their blog, however, Twitter explained their new position, saying that 24 hour cable news networks espouse agendas seated in pitting American citizens against one another for ratings and financial gain. Twitter pointed to the 2020 attacks on federal buildings in Portland, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Lancaster, among others, that could have been avoided with clear, accurate, and factual reporting instead of “intentionally misleading and agenda-laden reporting clearly designed to whip the nation into a state of division … and rife with the politics of hate and sedition”.
The media platform has been under increasing pressure to take action following the dozens of riots, and on Thursday issued a 12-hour ban to US President Trump for tweets that both inspired and excused rioters who attacked the US Capitol on January 6 before following up with a longer ban — through at least January 20, the end of his presidency, and perhaps longer.
Later, Twitter updated their blog to put the cable news giants on notice.
Twitter says it has mulled these types of bans since anarchist and communist groups took over a six-block section of Seattle and declared it “autonomous” following the media seeding distrust between police and American citizens and stoking violence during routine protests in the region. They claim to have discussed it again last summer, when cable news networks reassured their viewers — falsely — that the government had no right to deploy National Guard to protect federal buildings during violent protests and that any such deployments were fascist tactics specific to the Trump administration, leading to a violent standoff between citizens and guardsmen that raged on for weeks. In September, Twitter said, the media’s role in inspiring violence reared it’s head in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, after rioters took to the street immediately following the justified police shooting of an armed, screaming maniac who attempted to attack a law officer with a butcher knife. Twitter said this showed the “fruits of (cable news’) labor — fallacious reporting had sparked such a division that citizens would only respond with violence, not protest, and definitely not fact-seeking”.
Twitter says it’s platform enables users, including members of the media, to speak to the public, but has become increasingly concerned that by allowing the coals of division to be stoked on their platform, they are in essence complicit with such attempt to divide the American public and to create distrust between American citizens and government and community leaders.