Facebook’s internal Oversight Board has upheld the indefinite ban against President Trump, despite also saying that an indefinite removal was against Facebook’s own guidelines and asking the platform to “determine a proportionate punishment that is in line with the rules used for other users.” They gave the website six months to create that proportionate punishment.
Republicans, who see the platform as targeting them and imposing its rules as political weapons, did not take this news lightly.
Mark Meadows, the chief of staff under President Trump slammed the choice and said that Congress was discussing if they should break up the company.
“It is a sad time for Facebook because now some Congress-members are talking about: Do we break them up, do we ensure Facebook does not have a monopoly? What we do know is there are two standards, one for President Trump and one for other users,” Mark Meadows told Fox News.
GOP congress-members also took aim at the decision. Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn (TN) said it was “very disappointing,” saying that “Mark Zuckerberg sees himself as the controller of free speech.”
Kevin McCarthy, the current House Minority Leader, said if they can ban whoever is President, they can ban anyone. ” The company wants to behave as a Democratic Super PAC instead of a website for free speech.”
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) tweeted, “Disgraceful. For every progressive celebrating Trump’s ban, if these Tech rulers can censor him, what is stopping them from censoring you?”
Nikki Haley stressed that while the company banned a current President, dictators and terrorists are still allowed on the website.
Mark Meadows hinted that things will change and that discussions are happening in Congress to deal with the double standard.
— America's Newsroom (@AmericaNewsroom) May 5, 2021
Here’s a real life example of the tyranny of #BigTech – a fake @Facebook court decides @Facebook can do whatever @Facebook wants, in this case, suspending Donald Trump w/o process or standards. That’s what monopolies do. Break them up https://t.co/rgTel7DopY
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) May 5, 2021
Facebook’s status as a monopoly has led its leaders to believe it can silence and censor Americans' speech with no repercussions.
Now more than ever we need aggressive antitrust reform to break up Facebook’s monopoly. pic.twitter.com/WFPEe8aXsS
— Congressman Ken Buck (@RepKenBuck) May 5, 2021
Author: Blake Ambrose