After the mostly-peaceful demonstrations in Washington last January 6, Facebook and Instagram suspended President Trump’s accounts. He appealed to Facebook’s Oversight Board, which upheld the suspension but said it should have a time limit. Today Facebook responded by decreeing that Trump is off its platforms for two years, and after that, they will see.
Facebook’s suspension was based on two posts that President Trump did on January 6. Both called for peace. This is the first:
At 4:21 pm Eastern Standard Time, as the riot continued, Mr. Trump posted a video on Facebook and Instagram:
I know your pain. I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election, and everyone knows it, especially the other side, but you have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order. We have to respect our great people in law and order. We don’t want anybody hurt. It’s a very tough period of time. There’s never been a time like this where such a thing happened, where they could take it away from all of us, from me, from you, from our country. This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home. We love you. You’re very special. You’ve seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home and go home in peace.
This is the second:
At 6:07 pm Eastern Standard Time, as police were securing the Capitol, Mr. Trump posted a written statement on Facebook:
These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love in peace. Remember this day forever!
Those are pretty mild comments by today’s Facebook standards. But this is what the Oversight Board said about them:
The Board found that the two posts by Mr. Trump on January 6 severely violated Facebook’s Community Standards and Instagram’s Community Guidelines. “We love you. You’re very special” in the first post and “great patriots” and “remember this day forever” in the second post violated Facebook’s rules prohibiting praise or support of people engaged in violence.
Really? Haven’t a great many Democrats praised Black Lives Matter and even Antifa when they engaged in riots, arson and violence far more destructive than the Capitol intrusion of January 6, which was actually invited by some Capitol guards, and which was almost entirely peaceful? They certainly have, as I enumerated here.
Democratic politicians have posted many encomiums to left-wing rioters, looters and arsonists on Facebook, yet none, to my knowledge, has resulted in any sanctions. The idea that the rioters can’t quite be congratulated but certainly do have a point–the exact perspective expressed by President Trump–is common among Democratic politicians like Kamala Harris:
They’re [I.e., the BLM rioters of last June] not going to stop. They’re not going to stop. This is a movement, I’m telling you. They’re not gonna stop. And everyone beware because they’re not gonna stop. They’re not gonna stop before Election Day and they’re not going to stop after Election Day. And everyone should take note of that. They’re not gonna let up and they should not.
Facebook is a Democratic Party platform, so it is unconcerned by sympathy expressed for rioters that comes from the Left.
The Facebook Oversight Board found a second basis for suspending President Trump’s account:
The Board found that, in maintaining an unfounded narrative of electoral fraud and persistent calls to action, Mr. Trump created an environment where a serious risk of violence was possible.
That is the Democratic Party’s line, of course. But allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 election are by no means unfounded. Extensive fraud occurred and has been documented. But the nature of intentionally lax voting procedures is such that fraud is largely impossible to prove fraud after the fact. Once the ballots are cast, it is usually too late. That is why the Democrats consistency favor lax processes.
The debate over election integrity continues, but the idea that claims of voter fraud are “unfounded” is ridiculous.
The serious questions are how extensive the fraud was, and whether President Trump would have been re-elected absent such fraud. I don’t have an opinion on the second question, but will say with confidence that the Democratic Party tried hard to steal the election by, among many other things, engaging in collusive litigation with partisan Secretaries of State that resulted in safeguards to election integrity being vitiated in something like 15 states, so that the Democrats could easily engage in fraud. I think it is reasonable to assume that a party will only go to such lengths to enable fraud if it thinks cheating may be necessary to win the election.
But such issues, although vital to our democracy, apparently may not be discussed on Facebook. At least, not by a former president with tens of millions of followers.
It is not hard to understand what is going on here. Facebook, like Twitter, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and other Big Tech companies, has thrown in its lot with the Democratic Party. Facebook will do everything it can to help Democrats win elections. To some extent, this is a natural affinity when it comes to rich Silicon Valley liberals.
But there is a more sinister aspect. Facebook has, in legal terms, a monopoly in the space in which it and its subsidiary Instagram compete. That status is inherently threatening to a corporation that basically prints money, as it controls access to billions of consumers. The Trump administration was not in thrall to Silicon Valley leftists, so it brought an antitrust enforcement action against Facebook that sought to compel the divestiture of Instagram so as to enhance competition in social media.
Threatened by that lawsuit, Facebook’s economic interests were clearly aligned with the Democratic Party. Not surprisingly, in 2020 Facebook did everything possible to support the Democrats and turn the Trump administration out of power.
No doubt the payoff will come at some point during the “Biden administration.” Slow Joe will probably never know it, but his Department of Justice will dismiss the case against Facebook, or else, more likely, settle it for essentially nothing.
So Facebook’s treatment of President Trump needs to be seen in the context of a great deal of corruption and of enormous economic interests that, to your detriment, will be protected by the “Biden administration.”