The caliber of technology companies Cutting ties with Donald Trump and his supporters is just as impressive as the group of smiling Silicon Valley tycoons who took part in the round table before the inauguration in 2016 in Trump Tower.
Relationships have deteriorated since that “productive” first meeting. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Twitch have all banned Mr Trump’s accounts. Stripe has stopped processing payments for campaigns. YouTube removed videos. The AWS cloud computing service from Amazon and the Apple and Google app stores have been discontinued Parler, the right-wing extremist app.
The Capitol riot sparked by Mr Trump and his supporters was a legitimate reason for confiscating their megaphones. But the timing is good for big tech. A vengeful democratic government is on its way to power. Retroactive regrets for giving Mr. Trump a soap box may lessen the allegations.
The Trump years were lucrative for big tech. The lowering of the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent and the end of taxes on profits generated abroad have increased margins. Regulation has remained easy. Stocks have risen.
Mr Trump was just the loudest cowboy to shoot the Wild West off the lip on social media. Since the 2016 elections, Facebook’s daily active user base has grown from 1.23 billion to 1.82 billion. Quarterly sales more than doubled to over $ 21 billion. Twitter grew from a quarterly net loss of $ 167 million to an operating income of $ 56 million.
Apple suffered from the negative impact of the China trade war and the flattening of iPhone sales, meaning net income has increased less than a third since late 2016. However, tax cuts allowed share buybacks, making it the first $ 2 billion company in the U.S.
Even Jeff Bezos’ frosty relationship with the president didn’t prevent Amazon’s share price tripling and annual sales soaring 170 percent.
The first change does not oblige companies to provide services to every user. Parler has little hope of winning his case against Amazon. Ironically, Mr Trump could be forced to communicate through the mass media he despised until the threat of violence from his supporters is gone.
Big Tech hopes that the behavior of publishers who trigger inflammatory content will evade the legal responsibility of these “stick-in-the-muds”. Groups like Facebook may be able to mitigate the reform blow through preventive self-regulation and expensive lobbying. But they cannot completely avoid it.
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