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In China, authoritarians flood Twitter with ads for prostitutes and pornography in an effort to prevent users from obtaining information about protests. Authoritarians in the United States threaten to remove Twitter from more than 1.5 billion devices worldwide.

“Apple has also threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store,” Elon Musk tweeted, “but won’t tell us why.” The powerful few want to impede the free flow of information to the vulnerable many.

Suppression strikes intelligent observers as not a Chinese thing but a fetish of the powerful in whatever nation they reside. It appears cruder and more thuggish in China, and more passive-aggressive and sophisticated in the United States. But whether the state or a monopoly suppresses expression, does the crushing effect of it on a free society really differ?
apple logo on blue surface by Sumudu Mohottige is licensed under Unsplash unsplash.com
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