Trump says Big Tech is dividing the country, after his supporters attack Congress

Nandita Bose and Steve Holland
·2-min read
U.S. President Trump departs Washington on travel to Texas at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland

By Nandita Bose and Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump blamed Big Tech companies on Tuesday for dividing the country days after Twitter and Facebook banned him on their platforms for encouraging the attack on the U.S. Capitol building

"I think that Big Tech is doing a horrible thing for our country and to our country, and I believe it's going to be a catastrophic mistake for them. They're dividing and divisive," Trump told reporters at the start of a trip to Texas.

He said the companies had made a "terrible mistake" and that there is a "counter move" to the actions Big Tech platforms have taken without being specific about what that means.

Last week, Twitter, Facebook, Alphabet Inc-owned Google, Apple Inc and Amazon.com Inc took their strongest actions yet against Trump to limit his reach.

They cited the potential for continued violence stemming from the Republican president's posts, after his supporters' Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol that killed five people.

Apple, Google and Amazon also suspended Parler - a pro-Trump app where users have threatened more violence - from their respective app stores and Web-hosting services.

The moves enraged Trump, who immediately vowed he would "not be SILENCED!" and promised a "big announcement soon."

Trump has repeatedly clashed with large technology companies and railed against the protections they enjoy under a law called Section 230, which protects companies from liability over content posted by users. He has continued to demand that law be repealed, even though his calls have not found enough congressional support.

He even vetoed a $740 billion defense bill that allocates military funds each year because the bill did not include language to overturn Section 230. Congress overrode the veto.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Alistair Bell)