There’s an interesting comparison to be made between the former US President Donald Trump’s and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In the US, Twitter deleted the account of a person whose tweets were dangerously unhinged from reality.
In India, Twitter deleted the accounts of more than 500 people for telling the dangerous truth; the relevant Twitter Safety blog entry is here, and worth a read.
Trump die-hards reacted predictably to his Twitter ban, shrieking about leftist bias, the ‘libtard elites’ attacking free speech, blah blah blah, and abandoned the platform in droves. While the First Amendment was actually on the side of Twitter, how is it ‘political’ to set rules then penalise someone who flouts them? Even when that someone is the US president? Twitter were both legally and ethically correct to permadeath Trump’s account. I mean, if you fools want to follow somebody down a rabbit hole, read Alice in Wonderland ffs.
Now compare this to Modi, whose government threatened to imprison local Twitter employees if more than 500 anti-government accounts weren’t shut down. India is THAT paranoid that the accounts were linked to Chinese subterfuge. To me, this mirrors the alt-right conspiracy theory that COVID was in fact a bilogical attack against the US (which then infected the rest of the world, oops). Modi has moved hard and fast against critics of his new farm laws — is it overreaction, or more than meets the eye? Modi is hard to judge, mostly because he doesn’t brainfart 200 tweets per day.
Speaking of hubris and overreach, among the worst of Trump’s many hateful Executive Orders was his ‘Protections Against Online Censorship‘, a blatant assault on Twitter’s right to flag his posts as deceptive and misleading. The fool wanted cart blanche to use Twitter as his private propaganda platform, which it is not and was never meant to be. It certainly made the first week of Biden’s presidency fairly hectic, consigning Trump’s excesses to the sewer of history.
But Modi? Who knows yet if his actions against Twitter was excessive or just pragmatic? While I don’t subscribe to scaremongering, I’ve seen how hard China go against small nations like Australia, so what wouldn’t they do against a superpower on their doorstep which refuses to bend the knee? We could be watching the opening feints of the next real war, not that silly skirmish a few noisy crybaby American conservatives seem to want.
In which case, the world needs Modi to be more than he seems.