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Trump backs down from Big Tech fight

Last week, Trump issued a statement decrying his ban from Twitter.

President Trump in front of American flags

"What is needed now is for us to listen to one another, not to silence one another," the president said.

Photo: Brian Blanco/Getty Images

President Trump on Wednesday pulled punches in his fight against Big Tech, shying away from naming Twitter, Google and Facebook directly as he vaguely denounced "censorship" four minutes into a video posted Wednesday night.

After condemning the violence by his supporters on Capitol Hill last week, he pivoted to addressing the "unprecedented assault on free speech we have seen in recent days," seemingly a reference to his suspensions from every major social media platform.

"The efforts to censor, cancel and blacklist our fellow citizens are wrong and they are dangerous," Trump said. "What is needed now is for us to listen to one another, not to silence one another."

Last week, Trump issued a statement decrying his ban from Twitter, pledging he would take action against the platforms soon and would not be "SILENCED." He pledged a "big announcement" soon.

Those threats have not yet materialized.


Hovercast helped Dems raise millions. Now, it’s looking for its next act.

The startup will help make Wednesday's inauguration festivities more interactive.

Hovercast helped Bernie Sanders raise money for his campaign, and is now streaming one of the inaugural events.

Image: Hovercast

During any other inauguration, Washington, D.C., would be abuzz with parties right about now, with officials mingling behind closed doors with big-check fundraisers and other high-profile supporters. While many of those events have been canceled this year, the Delaware and Pennsylvania Democrats decided to instead team up for a virtual event.

Their "Biden Home States Inauguration Celebration" is being powered by Hovercast, a startup that has become a bit of a magic bullet for Democrats during the 2020 campaign. By combining livestreams hosted by the stars of "Hamilton" and "Parks and Recreation" with audience participation, Hovercast helped Democrats raise millions of dollars for crucial swing state races. With Wednesday's event, the company is looking to pivot to its next act: helping Dems govern.

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Janko Roettgers

Janko Roettgers (@jank0) is a senior reporter at Protocol, reporting on the shifting power dynamics between tech, media, and entertainment, including the impact of new technologies. Previously, Janko was Variety's first-ever technology writer in San Francisco, where he covered big tech and emerging technologies. He has reported for Gigaom, Frankfurter Rundschau, Berliner Zeitung, and ORF, among others. He has written three books on consumer cord-cutting and online music and co-edited an anthology on internet subcultures. He lives with his family in Oakland.

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