Donald J. Trump (R) remains unsilenced
Facebook was justified in banning then-President Donald Trump from its platform the day after the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, but it needs to reassess how long the ban will remain in effect, the social network's quasi-independent Oversight Board said Wednesday.
Is Donald Trump (R) worried "how long the ban will remain in effect"? Hmmmm. Understanding that in so many ways Facebook is so last decade and so many alternatives exist, Trump quickly responded on his new platform, in his old blunt prose.
Donald J. Trump
11:21am May 5, 2021
What Facebook, Twitter, and Google have done is a total disgrace and an embarrassment to our Country. Free Speech has been taken away from the President of the United States because the Radical Left Lunatics are afraid of the truth, but the truth will come out anyway, bigger and stronger than ever before. The People of our Country will not stand for it! These corrupt social media companies must pay a political price, and must never again be allowed to destroy and decimate our Electoral Process.
Other Republicans also eagerly pounced on the Oversight Board's decision. Quickly capitalizing on this flagrant example of Democratic suppression of diverse, pluralistic, and multicultural voices, of Democrats' inability to be inclusive, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), and Republican candidates for local and national office immediately shot out fundraising solicitation email appeals to support their (re)election campaigns, warning of potential future attempts to silence the diverse, pluralistic, and multicultural Republican voices.
For instance, this email from the NRSC landed in my inbox immediately after Facebook's announcement:
BREAKING NEWS: Facebook BANS Trump permanently
Facebook took final steps this morning in conservative censorship and announced its TOTAL BAN on President Donald Trump is upheld!
If you support free speech and President Donald Trump, we need 10,000 patriots to stand with Trump BEFORE MIDNIGHT! (snip)
(money plea here)
Please , if there was a time to take a stand the TIME IS NOW!
If you support free speech and the right of Conservatives to speak freely, then you must take a stand!
Thank you for your support,
Reacting to the reaction of the Oversight Board's ruling, Nick Clegg, Facebook's vice president of global affairs and communications, who is part of Facebook's management as distinct from the separate, "semi independent" Oversight Board, quickly spouted Facebook's soothing response.
[W]e're pleased the board has recognized that the unprecedented circumstances justified the exceptional measure we took.
However, while the board has not required Facebook to immediately restore Mr. Trump's accounts, it has not specified the appropriate duration of the penalty. Instead, the board criticized the open-ended nature of the suspension, calling it an "indeterminate and standardless penalty," and insisted we review our response. We will now consider the board's decision and determine an action that is clear and proportionate. In the meantime, Mr. Trump's accounts remain suspended.
The board also made a number of recommendations on how we should improve our policies. While these recommendations are not binding, we actively sought the board's views on our policies around political figures and will carefully review its recommendations.
In other words, as Clegg smoothly reveals, the independent Oversight Board was merely carrying out Facebook management's "standardless" rules; it is Facebook's management's responsibility to set standard rules. Oh. If not, Facebook management realizes that government will. As I noted here yesterday:
Senator Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) introduced legislation titled The 21st Century Free Speech Act, designed to curtail this modern suppression of free speech.
The 21st Century Free Speech Act seeks to stop censorship by companies like Facebook and Twitter by declaring the platforms "common carriers," a term also used for companies like railroads that must transport goods without discrimination.
Hagerty's bill also would require transparency in moderation practices and repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which grants internet companies immunity for most third-party content.
More proposed restrictive legislation is sure to be forthcoming. Facebook, as Clegg stated, "will carefully review its recommendations" on "political figures" with whom they, uhm...disagree.
Carefully, very carefully to keep government — and Trump and his supporters — at bay.
Meanwhile, in other related news, violent, murderous, racist, insurrectionist, but oh, so peaceful patriots in Portland, Oregon continue to post helpful instructions on Twitter on how to avoid being caught by cops. And most of their Facebook accounts are still up.
As Trump wrote, "The People of our Country will not stand for it! These corrupt social media companies must pay a political price ..."
To comment, you can find the MeWe post for this article here.