Tristan GreeneEditor, Neural by TNW
Tristan is a futurist covering human-centric artificial intelligence advances, quantum computing, STEM, physics, and space stuff. Pronouns: Tristan is a futurist covering human-centric artificial intelligence advances, quantum computing, STEM, physics, and space stuff. Pronouns: He/him
Many of us have relationships with people who, for whatever reason, leave us with lingering regrets. For the 45th president of the US that person is apparently Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Former president Trump today issued an official statement lamenting his leniency with social media companies during his time in the White House:
Congratulations to the country of Nigeria, who just banned Twitter because they banned their President.
More COUNTRIES should ban Twitter and Facebook for not allowing free and open speech—all voices should be heard. In the meantime, competitors will emerge and take hold. Who are they to dictate good and evil if they themselves are evil?
Perhaps I should have done it while I was President. But Zuckerberg kept calling me and coming to the White House for dinner telling me how great I was.
This statement references news that the president of Nigeria has banned Twitter in the country after the company deleted a tweet where it was believed he was threatening genocide.
Trump’s statement congratulates the Nigerian leader for his stance against Twitter. Then it launches into a weird confession that he stayed his hand when it came to his in-office dealings with Facebook and Twitter out of deference to affections from fellow billionaire Mark Zuckerberg.
Here’s the question we should all be asking ourselves: had Zuck not taken one for the team and “kept calling” Trump and “coming to the White House for dinner,” where would we all be today?
Is Trump telling us Zuckerberg was thirsty and he felt bad? Or is he telling us they were friends and he didn’t want to mix business with pleasure? Why would he so brazenly admit to not doing what he promised the tens of millions of people who supported him he’d do because Zuckerberg was nice to him?
There’s a big argument to be made that, as president of the US, he had no power to shut down a US business just because it banned him for breaking its terms of service. But, as very few of us have actually been POTUS, it’s possible he knows something we don’t.
And Trump apparently believes he had the power to ban Facebook and Twitter when he was in the White House as if he were the president of Nigeria.
Many of us have wondered why the former president never made good on the hundreds of threats he made against Facebook and Twitter while he was in office or why hasn’t sued them as a private citizen.
Maybe it’s just a not-so-rare case of billionaires showing deference to billionaires.
But we don’t know what Zuckerberg actually said during those dinner dates. Perhaps some compliments are so wonderful they make you forget that whole right wing “Free Speech” thing you were doing.
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