Conservatives blasted Facebook and its Oversight Board for upholding an indefinite ban on former President Trump on Wednesday.
“It is a sad day for America. It’s a sad day for Facebook because I can tell you, a number of members of Congress are now looking at: Do they break up Facebook, do they make sure that they don’t have a monopoly? And I can tell you that it is two different standards, one for Donald Trump and one for a number of other people that are on their sites,” Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows told “America’s Newsroom.”
FACEBOOK OVERSIGHT BOARD UPHOLDS TRUMP BAN BUT CALLS INDEFINITE SUSPENSION ‘NOT APPROPRIATE’
“Facebook and Twitter and others have clearly established two different sets of rules. One if you’re a conservative or a Republican or have a different ideology than them and one if you’re a liberal,” Corey Lewandowski, a Trump’s longtime political adviser, said in a radio interview.
“This ‘decision’ is absurd,” conservative commentator Ben Shapiro wrote on Twitter.
“Facebook’s decision to uphold its ban on President Donald Trump is extremely disappointing. It’s clear that Mark Zuckerberg views himself as the arbiter of free speech,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., said in a statement.
Facebook’s Oversight Board on Wednesday upheld Trump’s ban from Facebook and Instagram, but said it was “not appropriate” to impose the “indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension.”
“The Board has upheld Facebook’s decision on January 7, 2021, to restrict then-President Donald Trump’s access to posting content on his Facebook page and Instagram account,” the board said in a statement.
The board gave Facebook six months to review the “arbitrary” indefinite ban, saying in a tweet that the company “violated its own rules.”
The news prompted swift reaction from Republican lawmakers. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had a warning for Big Tech.
“Facebook is more interested in acting like a Democrat Super PAC than a platform for free speech and open debate,” McCarthy wrote on Twitter. “If they can ban President Trump, all conservative voices could be next. A House Republican majority will rein in big tech power over our speech.”
“Big tech thinks it can control everything. Companies that censor Americans while giving brutal dictators a pass should not have free rein over your personal data to use for their benefit. I introduced the DATA Act to hold big tech accountable,” Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., wrote on Twitter.
Former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, considered a 2024 presidential contender, also criticized Big Tech.
“Facebook and Twitter ban a former U.S. President, yet, some of the world’s worst dictators, terrorists, and bad actors still have a platform,” Haley wrote on Twitter. “This is a gross double standard and it’s why most Americans don’t trust big tech.”
“The Facebook Oversight Board is a dumb distraction from the actual issue of Facebook’s hegemonic control over global political speech, reinforced today by the platform anointing itself with the moral authority to memory hole future world leaders at their own discretion,” Rachel Bovard of the Conservative Partnership Institute wrote on Twitter.
Meadows told “America’s Newsroom” that the days of Facebook enjoying a “Wild West kind of regulatory environment” are over.
“This is a sad day for America but a sadder day for the Facebooks of the world who have actually enjoyed a very wild, wild West kind of regulatory environment. I can tell you that’s going to change. The discussion will happen within hours of this decision on Capitol Hill,” Meadows said.
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The board’s decision comes after Trump rolled out a new communications platform, “From the desk of Donald J. Trump.”
The space allows Trump to post comments, images and videos, and allows followers to share the former president’s posts to Twitter and Facebook, though it does not have a feature letting users “reply” or engage with Trump’s posts.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.