Facebook’s Oversight Board decided to temporarily uphold the platform’s ban against former President Donald Trump on Wednesday, and Trumpworld and top Republicans are predictably pissed off.
Trump was banned from Facebook and Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) after he helped incite the riot at the Capitol intended to prevent Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s win in the presidential election.
The independent board of 20 people from around the world—including a vice president at the libertarian Cato Institute and the former prime minister of Denmark—said Facebook made the right call in banning Trump but that it was wrong to do so indefinitely, and that it would have to complete a review within six months that justifies “a proportionate response that is consistent with the rules that are applied to other users of its platform.”
“It was not appropriate for Facebook to impose the indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension,” the board wrote in its judgment. “Facebook’s normal penalties include removing the violating content, imposing a time-bound period of suspension, or permanently disabling the page and account.”
Conservative lawmakers, who’ve slammed Facebook as well as other platforms that have banned Trump, including Twitter and YouTube, responded to the news by reiterating threats to tighten regulations against social media companies.
“Disgraceful,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who supported the effort to strip Arizona and Pennsylvania of their electoral votes, said in a Wednesday tweet responding to the news.
“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?” he added.
Kevin McCarthy, the House Minority Leader, said Facebook was “more interested in acting like a Democrat super PAC than a platform for free speech and open debate.”
“If they can ban President Trump, all conservative voices could be next,” McCarthy said. “A House Republican majority will rein in big tech power over our speech.”
Rep. Lauren Boebert, a freshman from Colorado, characterized the ban as “permanent” and threatened Facebook. “Facebook will pay the price,” she tweeted. ”Mark my words.”
J.D. Vance, a close ally of Facebook board member Peter Thiel and a likely 2022 Senate candidate in Ohio, tweeted that the committee that temporarily upheld the suspension “has more power than the United Nations.”
“Conservatives were right to worry about giving our sovereignty away to a multinational institution,” Vance wrote. “We just picked the wrong one.”
And Trump himself called the decision “a total disgrace and an embarrassment to our country.” In an emailed statement, Trump claimed that “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.”
“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.”