Facebook Keeps Banning Trump – WSJ

Facebook renounced its commitment to freedom of expression when it banned Donald Trump from the platform “indefinitely” on January 6th in the panic over the uprising in the Capitol. The company’s board of directors issued a mixed verdict on the ban on Wednesday, and the verdict is a win for Facebook censors. The board has also given CEO Mark Zuckerberg the opportunity to rediscover his principles of freedom of speech when he’s got the nerve.

Mr. Zuckerberg created Facebook’s supervisory body, which is made up of 20 academics, lawyers, NGO executives, and others, in order to politically relieve the management of content moderation. Progressives are furious that the social media giant is providing a forum for conservative speech and are demanding that it censor a number of First Amendment utterances.

The targets started with outlier content like Holocaust denial, but were likely to be expanded to include political debates on issues like climate change and Covid-19. Mr. Zuckerberg has resisted this pressure at times, but has been attacked more often by foundations, companies, employees and politicians.

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Wednesdays decision was the board’s first major test, and it mostly stumbled. President Trump has been missing from the platform for four months since promoting false claims about stolen elections and encouraging his supporters to march on the Capitol to change the outcome. This sparked an ugly riot, and Mr. Trump posted material on his social media accounts that sounded sympathetic to the crowd and told the rioters to step down. The company responded by freezing the president’s account and throwing his long-term fate into the hands of the largely left-of-center board of directors.

We said at the time that the President’s conduct was incontestable. Unprecedented acts like his removal from social media – and even more egregious censorship like the coordinated big tech attack on freelance social media platform Parler – have likely sparked more Republican voters and politicians to turn to the president gathered.

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