Bill Gates says social-media bans aren’t answer to divisiveness

Gates believes there must be a way to ‘draw the line so we keep the open debate without the corrosive parts’ on social media. — AP

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said social-media silencing such as Twitter Inc’s lifetime ban on former President Donald Trump risk leading to even more divisiveness in the US.

Trump said many things questioning the legitimacy of the 2020 election “that are corrosive”, Gates said on Fox News Sunday. “But the idea that you end up with a lifetime ban – that, it seems like we should discuss.”

“We don’t want to partition and have a social network for one party and another social network,” he said. “We want to have a common base where we’re exchanging ideas and thoughts.”

Twitter permanently suspended the @realDonaldTrump account last month, citing “the risk of further incitement of violence”, after Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol on Jan 6 in a bid to disrupt the Senate’s certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election.

Facebook also suspended Trump’s account while stopping short of declaring the suspension permanent.

“There’s got to be some way that, between the government and the well-meaning actors, we draw the line so we keep the open debate without the corrosive parts,” Gates said. – Bloomberg

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