Emily Ratajkowski, a well-known supermodel, pointed out the obvious to her 1.5 million Twitter followers: In a tweet posted Thursday, she said if big tech companies like Facebook can freely censor the president of the United States, it “can shut any of us up.”
Her comment came after Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced he has “indefinitely” banned President Donald Trump from posting on his platform. He made the move after a large group of pro-Trump rioters broke into the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, when Vice President Mike Pence and members of Congress were convening to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory over Trump.
Trump’s initial statement in the wake of the melee, which resulted in five deaths, including one pro-Trump Capitol Police officer, seemed all too friendly to the rioters who broke into the seat of the U.S. government. While he did tell them to “go home,” the president described them as “special” and reiterated his belief that the election last November was stolen from him.
“We believe the risks of allowing the president to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” Zuckerberg said. “Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”
Twitter, for its part, briefly barred Trump from posting to the platform. The president’s ability to post there has since been reinstated, though Twitter did remove a handful of his posts from the site.
It’s worth noting that, in a follow-up statement posted Thursday night, Trump did directly condemn the violence that unfolded in the Capitol earlier this week and committed himself to a peaceful transfer of power from his administration to that of Biden, who will be inaugurated Jan. 20.
As for Ratajkowski, she sent an additional tweet, admitting she knows her concerns over the censorship of Trump will be “unpopular,” adding, however, that she believes it’s “worth pointing out.”
“My concern is that this gives big tech the opportunity to shut down ‘leftist extremists’ who are important political organizers,” she later tweeted.
This doesn’t at all mean Ratajkowski is conservative. After all, she wrote in Vogue last October that she and her husband “won’t know the gender” of their yet-to-be-born baby “until our child is 18,” when “they’ll let us know.” And in 2016, she endorsed self-avowed socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for president.
Nevertheless, it’s an interesting position for someone like Ratajkowski to take, particularly as so many on the left have becoming increasingly comfortable and supportive with the idea of censoring Trump’s speech on social media platforms.
In a tweet posted Friday morning, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) called on Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to suspend Trump’s account, arguing the president’s removal from the site is “critical to the preservation of our democracy.”