Former President Donald Trump in response to Facebook’s decision to uphold its suspension ban to his social media account said the company as well as other big tech platforms that censored him should “pay a political price.”
“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,” Trump said in a statement emailed from his Save America Pac shortly after Facebook announced its decision.
“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,” Trump added.
Earlier Wednesday morning, Facebook’s independent Oversight Board issued its decision and found that despite Trump’s posts had “severely violated” Facebook rules, it questioned the “indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension” and “insisted” the company find a “proportionate response” within six months.
Ahead of our announcement on the Trump suspension case, a reminder of how the Oversight Board makes decisions: pic.twitter.com/ytSGPOCEp7
— Oversight Board (@OversightBoard) May 3, 2021
Following the Jan.6 Capitol riot, Trump was permanently de-platformed from Twitter with other big tech platforms joining suit shortly after. Facebook, just a week later suspended Trump’s account, with its 35 million followers and 24 million on sister platform Instagram, for “actively fomenting a violent insurrection.” Instead of indefinitely banning Trump from its platform, the world’s largest social media platform passed the issue to its newly minted 20-member board panel to ultimately decide whether to set a specific Facebook jail sentencing ban or let the former president back into using his accounts. However, the fix was already in with a majority of Facebook’s board panel consisting of anti-Trump activists.
Despite the obvious decision to ban the former president from most if not all social media platforms, Trump was already one step ahead by launching a new online communication platform within his website on Tuesday to “freely and safely” communicate directly to his supporters. While the platform currently does not have a “reply” feature for users to engage or post comments on Trump’s posts, it does have the ability for now in allowing users to share links of Trump’s post to their own Twitter or Facebook accounts.
The space dubbed “From The Desk of Donald J. Trump,” won’t be a permanent replacement, the former president senior adviser Jason Miller stated Tuesday evening.
“President Trump’s website is a great resource to find his latest statements and highlights from his first term in office, but this is not a new social media platform. We’ll have additional information coming on that front in the very near future,” Miller tweeted.
Facebook’s decision added fuel to Republican efforts in Congress to either break up social media platforms or to outlaw section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a 1994 act that grants immunity for most third-party online content. The antitrust push has been led by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) introduced two legislations last month —the Bust Up Big Tech Act and Trust-Busting for the Twenty-First Century Act to accomplish that goal last month.
Rep. Rick Scott (R-FL) is taking it another step further in breaking up Big Tech companies by holding them accountable. Earlier this week, Scott introduced the Data and Algorithm Transparency Agreement (DATA) Act to increase transparency by requiring big tech platforms to receive express consent to use Americans’ personal information. The DATA Act also provides Americans with legal recourse against these companies if they believe their right to privacy has been violated.
“The way big tech companies gather, manipulate, and sell Americans’ personal data, all without consequence, is alarming. These are the same companies that censor free speech, and pick and choose which viewpoints are allowed on their platform,” Scott said in a statement. “We have to hold these companies accountable and protect the rights of Americans. That’s why I’m introducing the DATA Act to require greater transparency in how big tech collects and uses our personal information, and to provide a recourse for Americans if their privacy is violated. The DATA Act finally gives Americans a say in what happens with their personal information.”
Big tech thinks it can control everything.⁰⁰Companies that censor Americans while giving brutal dictators a pass should not have free rein over your personal data to use for their benefit.⁰⁰I introduced the DATA Act to hold big tech accountable: https://t.co/aS2i0NWre4 https://t.co/hkS14eIZ3k
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) May 5, 2021
Meanwhile, Democrats are applauded Facebook’s unruly decision.
“There’s no Constitutional protection for using social media to incite an insurrection,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) tweeted, adding: “His big lies have cost America dearly. And until he stops, Facebook must ban him. Which is to say, forever.”