Bernie Sanders said he’s not comfortable with Twitter banning ‘racist, sexist’ Trump

Bernie Sanders mittens
Sen. Bernie Sanders.

  • Bernie Sanders said on a New York Times podcast that he wasn’t comfortable with Twitter’s Trump ban.
  • Sanders described Trump as “a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, a pathological liar.”
  • But he said he didn’t like a few “high-tech people” having so much power over public discussion.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday raised concerns about Twitter barring then-President Donald Trump from its service.

Sanders said on the “The Ezra Klein Show” that Trump was “a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, a pathological liar, an authoritarian, somebody who doesn’t believe in the rule of law.” But Sanders added that he didn’t “feel particularly comfortable” about tech companies having so much power over public discussion.

Twitter suspended Trump’s account in January, citing a “risk of further incitement of violence” after the US Capitol riot. This came a day after Facebook blocked Trump’s account for the same reasons.

Read more: Posters-in-chief: The GOP’s social-media activity proves it has no political direction

Sanders said that social-media sites shouldn’t allow “hate speech and conspiracy theories” on their platforms and that the internet shouldn’t be used for “authoritarian purposes and insurrection.” But he wasn’t sure how to strike a balance between censorship and taking action against online hate, he said.

He said he didn’t like a “handful of high-tech people” having so much power.

“Yesterday it was Donald Trump who was banned, and tomorrow it could be somebody else who has a very different point of view,” he said.

The Vermont senator said the US must consider how it would “preserve First Amendment rights without moving this country into a big lie mentality and conspiracy theories.”

His comments come three days after he criticized Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for owning “more wealth than the bottom 40% of people in this country.”

He described a “level of greed and inequality” that he said was “not only immoral” but also “unsustainable.”

Musk responded on Twitter, saying he was “accumulating resources to help make life multiplanetary.”

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