George Washington didn’t have a Facebook; Abraham Lincoln didn’t have a Snap Chat; and (thank goodness) William Taft didn’t have an OnlyFans. In this sense, the current president of the United States, Donald Trump, can join their luddite ranks as his accounts on practically every social media platform were removed or banned following the previous week’s protests and civil unrest. In today’s day and age, social media has become a powerful tool to communicate with the everyday American. Recently, these platforms have faced criticism for biased filters, ads, and users – which asks the question if social media is as free as we want to believe it is. While most people agree that it was within each platform’s rights to ban Trump from their usage after being affiliated with the violence that occurred, the argument surfaced that this was to prevent more potential violence or instigation. However, this brings the inherent power of social media into question. It has the potential to be good and it has to potential to be dangerous, but who should be the one to dictate this power?
We are now entering a grey area that our forefathers could not have predicted and rather than offering a solution, I simply acknowledge awareness. As we go forth and continue using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others, we should be mindful of the information we encounter. Just like in the founding of America, we were given away to remove a president from office as punishment for actions against our country and it’s a democracy, but we don’t have that in the virtual world where new information can grow into good or it can fester to unrecoverable situations. If we stay aware, we can come out on top and with this clarity of mind, perhaps we can come up with a way where social media can be safer for everyone.