‘What’s To Stop Them From Silencing You?’ Conservatives Slam Facebook’s ‘Independent’ Oversight Board
Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, listens during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. The hearing, which has a panel for circuit and district nominees, features candidates who would bring diversity to the courts to which they're nominated.
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After months of deliberation, Facebook’s “Oversight Board” announced that they would be upholding former President Donald Trump’s suspension on both Facebook and Instagram.

Following the January 6 riots in Washington, D.C., Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Trump would be banned on both Facebook and Instagram “indefinitely,” and that the ban would not be lifted until after Inauguration Day — at the very least.

“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,” a statement read.

The statement continued, noting that Facebook is to “review this matter” and come to a decision “within six months”:

However, it was not appropriate for Facebook to impose the indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension. Facebook’s normal penalties include removing the violating content, imposing a time-bound period of suspension, or permanently disabling the page and account.

The Board insists that Facebook review this matter to determine and justify a proportionate response that is consistent with the rules that are applied to other users of its platform. Facebook must complete its review of this matter within six months of the date of this decision. The Board also made policy recommendations for Facebook to implement in developing clear, necessary, and proportionate policies that promote public safety and respect freedom of expression.

However, after criticizing Facebook for “applying a vague, standardless penalty” and seeking to “avoid its responsibilities” by “referring this case to the Board to resolve,” the Oversight Board listed a set of recommendations for the Big Tech giant, including that they “publicly explain the rules that it uses when it imposes account-level sanctions against influential users.”

Here’s how some reacted to the rather unsurprising news.

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) tweeted, “Facebook is 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 continued. “A House Republican majority will rein in big tech power over our speech.”

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) tweeted, “Is there anything more Orwellian than Facebook’s ‘independent oversight board,’ stocked with left-wing academics, deciding issues of free speech?”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) tweeted, “Disgraceful.”

“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?” Cruz asked.

Author of “Hillbilly Elegy,” J.D. Vance, tweeted, “The Facebook oversight board has more power than the United Nations.”

“Conservatives were right to worry about giving our sovereignty away to a multinational institution. We just picked the wrong one,” he added.

The Daily Wire’s Editor Emeritus, Ben Shapiro, tweeted, “Facebook’s Oversight Board says they were right to suspend Trump because he violated their rule ‘prohibiting praise or support of people engaged in violence.’ Last year, nearly the entire media and Democratic Party praised people engaged in the most costly riots in US history.”

Talk radio host and Second Amendment advocate, Dana Loesch, tweeted, “So Facebook’s Oversight Board says Facebook didn’t really do anything wrong. We should all have our own wingma- I mean oversight board.”

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted, “Our freedom of speech is under attack in America. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue — but, unfortunately, the Left only supports free speech if what you have to say comports with their liberal ideology.”

“If Facebook and Twitter can ban President Trump, they’ll ban you too,” Pompeo added.

Editor’s Note: This piece was updated to clarify the Oversight Board’s statement.

Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.

The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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