Is US entering an ideological ‘Civil War’?
Published: Jan 09, 2021 05:26 PM

US President Donald Trump leaves a news conference on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC on May 11, 2020. Photo: AFP

Washington's unprecedented battle to ban some social media accounts and opposition against such moves may become a "Civil War" in the country in terms of ideology. In the aftermath of Twitter's announcement of permanently suspending him on Friday, US President Donald Trump said he will look "at the possibilities of building out our own platform in the near future" and "We will not be SILENCED!" He wrote these lines in the now removed tweets from the US president's official @POTUS account. Twitter on the same day also removed the accounts of Michael Flynn and Sidney Powell, two of Trump's ardent supporters.

Google on Friday has suspended Parler, a social networking platform which has been popular among supporters of Trump and right-wing conservatives. Apple gave Parler 24 hours to "remove all objectionable content from app." Youtube said on Friday it banned former senior White House strategist Steve Bannon's podcast.

Trump wrote his team has been "negotiating with various other sites, and will have a big announcement soon." An internal battle over the control of public opinion is taking place in the US at a crossroads over where the US will go next. Social interests and opinions are gravely divided and irreconcilable. This is the reason why I said at the beginning that what is happening in the US may become a "Civil War" in the domain of ideology.

The US' freedom of speech may be redefining itself, or perhaps its true implications are about to reveal itself. That is - the voices politically bolstering me and willing to stand with me should be fully free; while those opposite to me when it comes to politics and ideology should be restricted, to secure them at a disadvantage.

This battle will have a profound impact, which will surpass the influence of Trump's supporters' attack on the Capitol. This is because freedom of speech is the content of the First Amendment of the US Constitution. The foundations of the US system are shaking in controversy.

The author is editor-in-chief of the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn