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Opinion | Social Media Needs Better Solutions Than Just Banning Bad Actors

Greene is already capitalizing on her supposed plight. Far from being silenced, she decamped to the messaging app Telegram to continue her tireless goal of following the playbook of Trump — who was himself tossed off Twitter and Facebook for inciting violence related to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. On Telegram, Greene channeled America’s patron saint of prevarication, writing that “Twitter is an enemy to America and can’t handle the truth.” Funny, she didn’t mind using Twitter to spread lies before it took action against her.

It was all part of a tired routine: Get oneself worked up into a lather, spew manufactured bile designed to enrage and then repeat and repeat and repeat.

These unctuous, tweeting fabulists rode the digital rails as far as they could to their advantage, until it was a tweet too far. In his latest statement, Trump called for people to “drop off” — Donald, F.Y.I., the correct term is “delete” — Facebook and Twitter. Yes, there are myriad legitimate reasons to quit social media, but this isn’t one of them.

It is, however, yet another reminder of the desperate need for lawmakers to step up and address the overwhelming power of Big Tech.

Meanwhile, the podcaster, comedian and rabble-rouser Joe Rogan isn’t waiting to get tossed off before cashing in on the furor. He set up an account on Gettr, the social media site run by the former Trump adviser Jason Miller, saying it’s a safety net in case “Twitter gets even dumber.”

That turned into quite a boon for Rogan — and for Gettr’s subscriptions, too — who miraculously attracted 8.6 million followers in under two days. Over on Twitter, which he naturally used to tout the move, he has just 7.9 million followers.

Rogan may have been pushed to his edge — which at least feels more genuine, if misguided — by another Twitter ban, that of the controversial virologist Robert Malone, who claims to be the inventor of mRNA vaccines. (He’s more likely one of many key contributors to the critical technology.) Malone has been a vocal critic of the mass vaccination fervor, including on Rogan’s show, where he likened it to something from Nazi Germany. While we’re well past the time to retire the casual use of Hitler’s regime as a metaphor for everything (it’s a high bar of horror), the sentiment still lands with a certain audience whose mistrust of power has only grown during the pandemic.

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