As we reported earlier today, Facebook’s Oversight Board upheld the social media platform’s indefinite ban on President Donald Trump, despite also finding that an indefinite ban violated Facebook’s own rules and calling on the platform to “determine and justify a proportionate response that is consistent with the rules that are applied to other users of its platform.” They gave the platform six months to come up with that proportionate response.
The decision was not well received by Republicans who already feel that the platform has not been fair to them and imposes its rules unevenly.
Mark Meadows, President Donald Trump’s former chief of staff decried the decision and said that members of Congress were looking into whether they needed to break up Facebook.
“It is a sad day for America. It’s a sad day for Facebook because I can tell you, a number of members of Congress are now looking at: Do they break up Facebook, do they make sure that they don’t have a monopoly? And I can tell you that it is two different standards, one for Donald Trump and one for a number of other people that are on their sites,” Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows told “America’s Newsroom.”
“Facebook and Twitter and others have clearly established two different sets of rules. One if you’re a conservative or a Republican or have a different ideology than them and one if you’re a liberal,” Corey Lewandowski, a Trump’s longtime political adviser, said in a radio interview.
“This ‘decision’ is absurd,” conservative commentator Ben Shapiro wrote on Twitter.
Republican members of Congress slammed the decision, according to Fox. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) called it “extremely disappointing,” saying that “Mark Zuckerberg views himself as the arbiter of free speech.” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy warned that if they could ban the president, they could ban anyone. “Facebook is more interested in acting like a Democrat Super PAC than a platform for free speech and open debate.” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) tweeted, “Disgraceful. For every liberal celebrating Trump’s social media ban, if the Big Tech oligarchs can muzzle the former President, what’s to stop them from silencing you?”
Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley pointed out that while Facebook banned a sitting U.S. President, brutal dictators, terrorists, and other bad actors are still allowed.
Mark Meadows said things are going to change and the discussion is coming within hours in Congress to address 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