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Bill Gates: Trump ‘probably should be allowed’ back on social media

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Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has said that former President Donald Trump at some point should probably be allowed back onto social media platforms, despite his “corrosive” election fraud claims.

“I think at some point he probably will be allowed back on and probably should be allowed back on,” the billionaire philanthropist told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” in an interview aired Thursday morning.

Major social media platforms either temporarily suspended or permanently banned the former president after a mob violently stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, the day Congress was set to certify the states’ electoral votes and thus President Joe Biden‘s 2020 election victory. Trump had used his social media accounts to spread claims that the election was rigged and stolen from him through widespread fraud, claims which the rioters echoed as they stormed the Capitol.

Trump’s “deplatforming” sparked intense outcry from conservatives in particular, arguing that large technology giants were exercising anti-conservative bias and violating the principle of free speech in the process. Even world leaders such as French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed displeasure with the move.

Gates had been asked by “Squawk Box” co-host Andrew Ross Sorkin about if he would allow the former commander-in-chief back on social media if he were on Facebook’s oversight board.

“It’s weird when you’re, you know, saying that the election was stolen without any facts there. And how corrosive that is,” Gates said.

“But I’ll bet they’ll find a way to let him back on,” he continued, noting that Trump’s future posts could be given warning labels—as they had been in the months leading up to, and after, the November 3 general election.

“You know, in a way, his people’s interest in what he says may go down quite a bit,” Gates added. “That’ll be interesting to watch.”

Prior to being banned from Twitter, Trump had enjoyed the benefits given to him under the website’s world leader policy, which exempts world leaders from punishments for behavior on the platform violating its policies.

Despite Trump leaving a possible 2024 presidential run on the table, and with that the possibility of becoming a world leader again, Twitter’s chief financial officer has said Trump’s account will remained banned permanently.

RELATED: Poll: Majority of GOP voters still favor Trump for 2024

On February 10, CFO Ned Segal said in a CNBC interview that the former president “was removed when he was president, and there’d be no difference for anybody who [was] a public official once they’ve been removed from the service.”

“Our policies are designed to make sure that people are not inciting violence,” Segal also said, “and if anybody does that, we would have to remove them from the service and our policies don’t allow people to come back.”

At the time of his ban from the platform, Twitter said that Trump’s tweets posed “the risk of further incitement of violence.”

Moreover, Democrats—and a number of Republicans—have accused Trump of “inciting an insurrection” in part through his claims spread on social media leading up to the riot. Ultimately on Saturday, Trump was acquitted by the U.S. Senate after being impeached by the House of Representatives for that single charge.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Shanghai: China’s Potemkin Village

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Following a recent outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has imposed a month-long draconian lockdown on the residents of Shanghai. The CCP has used the outbreak to persecute its own citizens, including through forced evictions and quarantines, and placing alarms on doors to prevent COVID-19 people from leaving their homes. The harsh measures have resulted in food and healthcare shortages and separation of families.

But of course, we wouldn’t know that by reading the CCP-run press readily available in the United States. Instead of presenting the facts, the CCP engages in a comprehensive propaganda campaign that props up Shanghai as a Chinese Potemkin village. The CCP media asserts that China’s actions in Shanghai are benevolent and wise, while Western criticism is a product of malice. Chinese state-run media also insists that the Shanghai lockdown promotes economic stability in China and the world.

Claim 1: China Has the Best Policy for Combating COVID-19

The CCP media portray the Shanghai lockdown as the best and ideal policy. As cited by a XinhuaNet editorial, “China’s dynamic zero-COVID approach” is “the best option to save lives,” according to a “Rwandan researcher and publisher,” “…a miracle for us to learn,” according to a Kenyan scholar, and “a very ideal response,” according to Ethiopia’s National COVID-19 Response Task Force Coordinator. According to CCP media, Chinese citizens have greeted the Shanghai lockdown warmly, even with “[a] mixed sense of intensity, unity and hopefulness,” according to China Daily.

Claim 2: The West Hypocritically Defames China

The CCP press also accuses the West of lying about the Shanghai lockdown, and using COVID policies for nefarious ends. According to XinhuaNet, “Shanghai…has never imposed what Western media described as a ‘lockdown.’” Other CCP editorials actually accuse the West of malice. One Global Times editorial claims that the lockdown “has been deliberately exaggerated by the West.” Another Global Times editorial asserts that the Western approach of “coexisting with the virus” amounts to a way “…to drive out a large number of the vulnerable people with low immunity,” and a form of “cruel social Darwinism.”

Claim 3: China’s COVID Policies Result in an Economic Windfall to China and the World

The CCP also portrays the lockdown as necessary to achieve great economic growth in China and beyond. One Global Times editorial, while conceding that the lockdown amounted to a “sealing-off,” it is “a temporary measure to better resume work and production and to make the economy and society function more effectively. Its effectiveness has been proven.” According to another Global Times editorial, China’s policy is “widely considered to be the best strategy…to both contain the epidemic and ensure stable economic development.”

In an Orwellian fashion, Chinese press claims that China is solving, not causing, the world’s economic problems. According to XinhuaNet, “China has played a decisive role in stabilizing the global economy and resuming the supply chain disrupted by COVID-19.” Citing a Bloomberg article, the same XinhuaNet editorial claims that China “has prevented a huge number of deaths at home and ensured that everything from iPhones and Teslas to fertilizer and car parts continues to flow to the rest of the world.” Chinese citizens, of course, are collateral damage: Ji Qiwei, vice-general manager of SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle, stated that “The domestic market may be impacted a little by the COVID-19 outbreak this year, but our export market will continue to see strong growth,” according to China Daily.

While the world continues to suffer economic and human damage as a result of COVID-19, China continues to revise history regarding its role. Through its propaganda in its English publications of Xinhua, China Daily, and Global Times, China seeks to portray itself as a benevolent force in the fight against the virus.

You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic

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