Facebook’s autocratic Trump ban has tightened big business’s grip on democracy & freedom of expression. We should shudder in fear | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Facebook’s autocratic Trump ban has tightened big business’s grip on democracy & freedom of expression. We should shudder in fear

The decision by Facebook to uphold Donald Trump’s suspension for two years, and the promise the platform will no longer treat content from politicians any differently, shows that it has elected itself the referee in US democracy.

Every democrat in the world should be sitting up and trembling in fear and indignation over the decision taken by Facebook to suspend Trump from the platform until at least January 7, 2023, and the idea that posts by politicians will be subject to more scrutiny by the company’s censors.

Facebook has acted upon the advice of its liberal-leaning ‘Oversight Board’ of academics, human rights lawyers, activists, and others. This august body of 20 chosen experts ruled that the initial indefinite banning of the president after his alleged role in the Capital riot of January 6 was acceptable. But their concern was that it could not be “indefinite,” but should be subject to expert review to assess if there is still a “serious risk… to public safety.”

The Trump ban is terrible enough. But Facebook’s indication that more speech by politicians may be taken down in the future is even worse. For a company that had previously said it would refrain from censoring politicians because their views are essential for the public to see, this shift is fundamental.

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