Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg kept claiming that he didn’t want his company to have the responsibility of making these decisions. He tried to launder the Trump ban through an “independent” oversight board of leftist activists which using UN regs upheld the ban, but kicked back the specifics of it to the company. Now Facebook has announced a two-year ban until the start of the 2024 campaign.
Now Nick Clegg, who as you’ll recall was a top British politician, has issued a statement on behalf of Facebook.
After the two-year ban statement, Clegg lays out a blueprint that puts Facebook in charge of the 2024 election.
At the end of this period, we will look to experts to assess whether the risk to public safety has receded. We will evaluate external factors, including instances of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly and other markers of civil unrest. If we determine that there is still a serious risk to public safety, we will extend the restriction for a set period of time and continue to re-evaluate until that risk has receded.
When the suspension is eventually lifted, there will be a strict set of rapidly escalating sanctions that will be triggered if Mr. Trump commits further violations in future, up to and including permanent removal of his pages and accounts.
In establishing the two year sanction for severe violations, we considered the need for it to be long enough to allow a safe period of time after the acts of incitement, to be significant enough to be a deterrent to Mr. Trump and others from committing such severe violations in future, and to be proportionate to the gravity of the violation itself.
There are a lot of interesting and troubling things here.
1. Facebook is going to be constantly monitoring President Trump’s statements to determine if there’s a cause for further sanctions. Since Facebook controls 80% of social media access, and social media access is crucial to elections, it’s putting itself in charge of determining the outcome of the 2024 election.
I can’t think of a better reason to break up Big Tech monopolies now.
2. That first paragraph leaves plenty of room for a heckler’s veto. Is President Trump responsible if some idiot in a shaman costume who isn’t a conservative or a Republican decides to do something? Is he responsible for a BLM riot? The answer is unclear.
Clegg states that Facebook will evaluate ” instances of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly and other markers of civil unrest.”
In other words, if Antifa attacks a Trump rally that could very well be a marker of civil unrest. What if a city bans BLM protests? That seems to be a marker too.
This is the kind of Catch 22 approach that sets up Trump to fail Facebook’s test.
But it’s Facebook that is failing the anti-trust test and must be broken up.