Senate

Warren: Trump is 'a danger to democracy'

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a critic of Facebook and other tech giants, on Thursday called Donald Trump "a danger to democracy" and applauded a decision by Facebook's Oversight Board to uphold the company's ban on the former president.

Warren urged Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to keep the ban in place when Facebook revisits the question of allowing Trump back on its social media platform in another six months.

"I am much happier with Donald Trump off the air, off Facebook. I don't like having to get up every morning and go through what he's done. I think he poses a lot of risk," she said in an interview with The Washington Post Live.

Asked if Trump should now be treated as an "ordinary American" by social media companies now that he's out of office, Warren said: "He poses much more risk than an ordinary American."

"He spreads lies," she said, referring to Trump's baseless claims that President Biden won the 2020 election because of widespread fraud.

"Indeed, he is now forcing, evidently, everybody else in the Republican Party to agree to say the lie out loud. He spreads misinformation. He is truly a danger to our democracy," she added.

A CNN-SSRS nationwide poll of 1,004 people conducted April 21 to 26 found that 70 percent of Republicans believe Biden did not legitimately win enough votes to win the presidency, even though Republican leaders such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) have said repeatedly that Biden did legitimately win the election.

At the same time, Warren, who has called for breaking up Big Tech companies, expressed unease about the power of Facebook and other social media companies to have huge influence on the national debate.

"I see this and think about the amount of power that Facebook has," she said, noting that Facebook internally refers to its independent Oversight Board, which upheld its Trump decision, as the "Supreme Court."

"Does that tell you how much power they see themselves as having? More power than government. Last I saw, nobody did advise and consent, nobody nominated those people other than Mark Zuckerberg," she added. "This is a reminder for me about two reasons that we need to break up Big Tech, including Facebook."

She said big companies such as Amazon "destroy economic competition" and "suck information" out of consumers who use their services.

"The giants need to be broken up," she said. "It's time right now for the Department of Justice to pick up the antitrust rule that have been on the books for a century and break up these giant tech companies."

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