News & Politics

Some Media Outlets Claim Trump Blocking Individuals on Twitter Is the Same as Iran Shutting It Down

(AP Photo, File)

The folks at Newsweek need to switch to decaf. A massive amount of caffeine is the only reason I can think of for the kind of overreaction we’ve come to expect from the news site.

Their latest example? President Trump rebuked Iran for completely shutting down access to social media sites like Twitter during the current public uprising against the regime. This is exactly what Trump, and everyone who believes in liberty, should be saying to the oppressive mullahs. Why would Newsweek criticize Trump for doing the right thing?

Well, you see, President Trump has totally blocked a few individuals on Twitter before.

So Newsweek’s Carlos Ballesteros wrote: “[S]ome of President Donald Trump’s critics were quick to point out that he has blocked dozens of people from his personal Twitter account. … In November, Georgetown Law’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection joined an ongoing federal lawsuit charging that Trump’s practice of blocking critics from his personal Twitter account is a violation of the First Amendment.

Bellesteros is giving space to the dumbest possible take on this news item.

No matter how you shake it, the two aren’t remotely in the same ballpark. If President Trump blocks you on Twitter, you are still free to use the platform, to criticize him on the platform, and even to simply sign out of your account to view his tweets. All you cannot do anymore is have your tweets show up in Trump’s personal feed. That’s it.

In Iran, the entire internet is heavily censored. Complaining a bit too loud about this often leads to your torture or death.

Newsweek gives this comparison credence, as if it’s actual news rather than ill-considered nonsense. In other words, Newsweek and Bellesteros are exemplifying exactly what people think of when they talk about a biased media. Just one side of a debate, no mention of a counterpoint, and just enough information to make people think this is somehow a valid position to take.

It’s not, and Newsweek should be ashamed of itself.