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Putin Critic Alexey Navalny Rips Trump’s Twitter Ban: ‘Unacceptable Act Of Censorship’
(COMBO) This combination of pictures created on October 1, 2020 shows Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny (L, on January 16, 2018 in Moscow) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (on July 4, 2019 in Rome). - Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has accused President Vladimir Putin of being behind his poisoning, in his first interview published since he left the German hospital where he was treated. "I assert that Putin is behind this act, I don't see any other explanation," he told the German weekly Der Spiegel, which published extracts from the interview on its website Thursday, October 1, 2020.

Twitter’s decision to ban President Donald Trump from his personal account has drawn sharp rebukes from all corners of the political spectrum, from German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Joining the ranks of those sounding the alarm is chief Vladimir Putin critic and Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny, who denounced the ban as “an unacceptable act of censorship.”

In a Twitter thread posted on Saturday, Navalny laid out 11 reasons why Twitter’s purging of Trump sets a dangerous president that will actually empower foreign dictators to silence dissent.

“I think that the ban of Donald Trump on Twitter is an unacceptable act of censorship,” began Navalny.

Though Navalny agreed that Trump engaged in irresponsible rhetoric throughout his tenure, he asserted that Biden’s victory in the 2020 election was punishment enough for it.

“Of course, during his time in the office, Trump has been writing and saying very irresponsible things. And paid for it by not getting re-elected for a second term,” he tweeted. “The election is a straightforward and competitive process. You can participate in it, you can appeal against the results, they’re being monitored by millions of people. The ban on Twitter is a decision of people we don’t know in accordance with a procedure we don’t know.”

Regarding Twitter’s assertions that Trump “violated” community guidelines, Navalny noted the death threats he gets on a daily basis that Twitter never touches upon.

“In my opinion, the decision to ban Trump was based on emotions and personal political preferences,” he said. “Don’t tell me he was banned for violating Twitter rules. I get death threats here every day for many years, and Twitter doesn’t ban anyone (not that I ask for it).”

“Among the people who have Twitter accounts are cold-blooded murderers (Putin or Maduro) and liars and thieves (Medvedev),” Navalny added. “For many years, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have been used as a base for Putin’s ‘troll factor’ and similar groups from other authoritarian countries.”

After Twitter removed Trump’s personal account from its platform, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) — no friend of Trump — expressed concern about Big Tech’s power to silence people in the future.

“For months, President Trump has been using social media platforms to seed doubt about the results of the election and to undermine the will of voters. We understand the desire to permanently suspend him now, but it should concern everyone when companies like Facebook and Twitter wield the unchecked power to remove people from platforms that have become indispensable for the speech of billions — especially when political realities make those decisions easier. President Trump can turn to his press team or Fox News to communicate with the public, but others — like the many Black, Brown, and LGBTQ activists who have been censored by social media companies – will not have that luxury. It is our hope that these companies will apply their rules transparently to everyone,” the ACLU wrote.

Related: ACLU Worries About Social Media’s ‘Unchecked Power To Remove People From Platforms’ After Twitter, Facebook Ban Trump

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