Donald Trump encouraged the rioters on Capitol Hill and thus won his ban on Facebook, but the social media giant’s rules are in “shambles” and must be corrected, the co-chairman of the network monitoring group said on Sunday.
The panel agreed just days ago that Facebook was right to oust the ex-president for his comments regarding the murderous January 6 rampage, although it bypassed a blanket decision on whether one day he will be allowed to return.
“He released these statements which only encouraged – with a superficial demand for peace – but more importantly he just urged them to continue,” watchdog co-chair Michael McConnell told Fox News on Sunday.
Trump was suspended from Facebook and Instagram after posting a video during the attack on his fiery supporters contesting his election defeat, in which he told them, “We love you, you are very special. “
“He (Trump) bears responsibility for his own situation. He got into that bed and he can sleep in it, ”McConnell added.
However, the panel gave the company six months to justify why its ban should be permanent – leaving a grenade in the lap of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg on the issue of free speech and highlighting the plan’s weaknesses. self-regulation of the platform.
“We gave them (Facebook) some time to tidy up their house,” McConnell said. “They needed time because their rules are a mess… They are not clear, they are inconsistent internally. “
McConnell, a professor of constitutional law at Stanford, noted that the social media giant was not violating Trump’s free speech rights.
– “Facebook is not a government” –
“The simple voluntary answer is that private companies are not bound by the First Amendment,” he said, referring to the US constitution. “He’s a client. Facebook is not a government and it is not a citizen of Facebook. “
In its ruling, the supervisory board – envisioned by Zuckerberg as the equivalent of a “supreme court” for thorny content decisions – made additional recommendations on dealing with potentially harmful content from world leaders.
The panel “called on Facebook to address widespread confusion about how decisions about influential users are made” and said “brand awareness should not be given priority when urgent action is needed to avoid harm. important ”.
Twitter permanently suspended Trump after the Capitol riot, claiming there was a risk that he would incite more violence, due to his multiple tweets contesting Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election.
Twitter confirmed on Thursday that it had pulled the plugs from several accounts linked to Trump trying to circumvent the ban.
Social media has been the key to Trump’s political success, allowing him to launch comments without having to explain or support the claims.
In a recent hearing on Capitol Hill, US lawmakers criticized the leaders of major social networks and promised new regulations.
Zuckerberg, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, and Google’s Sundar Pichai faced questions from lawmakers who accused their platforms of political extremism, drug addiction, teenage suicides and more.
Zuckerberg reiterated his belief that private companies should not be the judges of the truth about what people say.
© 2021 AFP