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Mozilla CEO Calls for Increased Censorship: ‘We Need More Than Deplatforming’

Photo from Firefox’s Twitter

Mozilla CEO Calls for Increased Censorship: ‘We Need More Than Deplatforming’

By Movieguide® Staff

Despite Twitter and Facebook’s bar of former President Trump from their platforms, Mozilla CEO Mitchell Baker called for further censorship.

In a blog post, Baker recognized social media’s effect during the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riots and questioned what role tech giants have to play in free speech: 

“Since then there has been significant focus on the deplatforming of President Donald Trump. By all means, the question of when to deplatform a head of state is a critical one, among many that must be addressed. When should platforms make these decisions? Is that decision-making power theirs alone?” 

Following Trump’s ban from nearly every social media site, the free speech alternative, Parler, was also taken offline after Amazon Web Services claimed that the platform failed to moderate “a steady increase in this violent content on your website, all of which violates our terms.”

While the ban raised concerns about the safety of free speech and big tech’s power to censor particular voices, Baker claims that “deplatfroming” is too passive.  

“The answer is not to do away with the internet, but to build a better one,” Baker wrote in the blog post. “As reprehensible as the actions of Donald Trump are, the rampant use of the internet to foment violence and hate, and reinforce white supremacy is about more than any one personality. Donald Trump is certainly not the first politician to exploit the architecture of the internet in this way, and he won’t be the last. We need solutions that don’t start after untold damage has been done.”

Baker continued: “Changing these dangerous dynamics requires more than just the temporary silencing or permanent removal of bad actors from social media platforms.”

The Mozilla CEO recommended a series of “precise and specific” actions to address the problem in the future: 

Reveal who is paying for advertisements, how much they are paying and who is being targeted.

Commit to meaningful transparency of platform algorithms so we know how and what content is being amplified, to whom, and the associated impact.

Turn on by default the tools to amplify factual voices over disinformation.

Work with independent researchers to facilitate in-depth studies of the platforms’ impact on people and our societies, and what we can do to improve things.

Fans of Firefox, Mozilla’s web browser, expressed their disagreement with Baker’s commitment to further censorship via Twitter: