Oversight Board Reveals It’s A Rubber Stamp For Facebook Censorship

Oversight Board Reveals It’s A Rubber Stamp For Facebook Censorship

Facebook’s oversight board ruled Wednesday that former President Donald Trump’s ban from the social media site should remain in effect for the time being under the absurd pretext that his rhetoric after the November election had created “a serious risk of violence.”

The board’s ruling, like the board itself, is farcical. What is Facebook’s oversight board, you ask? The company created a 20-member “oversight board” last year, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg has described as a kind of “Supreme Court” to review content moderation and has the power to overrule the company’s decisions. But the actual purpose of the board is to give an imprimatur of respectability to Facebook’s blatant censorship of speech it dislikes.

How do we know? Well, here’s what the board did in the Trump case, by far the most high-profile case it will ever hear. It looked at a handful of Trump’s Facebook posts on Jan. 6, the day a small group of rioters broke off from a much larger, peaceful demonstration, and stormed the U.S. Capitol. The board found that two of Trump’s posts that day “severely violated” Facebook’s rules against praising or supporting individuals engaged in violence, including Trump’s reference to demonstrators as “great patriots” and “very special.”

The board also found that Trump “created an environment where a serious risk of violence was possible” by making claims about voter fraud in the November election and that Facebook was therefore “justified” in suspending him, adding in for good measure that the company must revisit its Trump ban in six months.

What a joke. The board, like its Big Tech overlords and the entire corporate press, refuses to distinguish between the hundreds of rioters who stormed the Capitol and the tens of thousands of peaceful protesters who were on the Capitol grounds on Jan. 6. Everyone knows that the Jan. 6 riot took place in the context of a massive, peaceful demonstration that began at the White House Ellipse, where Trump spoke to supporters, and proceeded in an orderly fashion to the Capitol grounds. It was this group of peaceful protesters that Trump was referring to as “great patriots” and as “very special.”

But Facebook and its lackey board want to paint all Trump supporters as violent insurrectionists, so they refuse to distinguish between the two groups. By deceptively conflating the rioters and the peaceful protesters, Facebook’s “oversight board” has revealed itself for what it is: a rubber stamp on the biased decisions of woke Facebook censors.

The outcome of the board’s ruling, in this case, was as predictable as a Soviet show-trial. The idea that Facebook, of all companies, has some august oversight board of independent, judiciously-minded serious people considering matters of great import is laughable.

One member of the board, Pamela Karlan, a law professor at Stanford, testified during Trump’s first impeachment trial in the House in December 2019, arguing he should be impeached for “high crimes and misdemeanors” and in the process mocking Trump’s then-14-year-old son, Barron.

Karlan stepped down from the board in February to join the Biden administration. She was replaced by Suzanne Nossel, a veteran of the Obama administration.

 

John is the Political Editor at The Federalist. Follow him on Twitter.
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