Republicans and conservatives took to social media to register their displeasure on Wednesday after an oversight board upheld Facebook’s ban on former President Donald Trump. Some lawmakers spoke of breaking up the technology giant.
"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?” Trump's former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, said on Fox News during "America's Newsroom."
“I can tell you," he said, "that it is two different standards, one for Donald Trump and one for a number of other people that are on their sites."
Facebook banned Trump “indefinitely” after the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, which many have accused him of inciting with claims of a stolen election. During the siege, five people died as hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the federal building, disrupting Congress' certification of Electoral College votes from the 2020 election.
The tech giant claimed Trump’s communications both on and outside its social media platform violated community guidelines, according to the case detail released by its Oversight Board.
The board sided with Facebook and upheld the ban in its decision on Wednesday, thougyh it also found the company had violated its own rules in making the suspension “indefinite.” It called for a further review in six months.
It is not clear what the consequences willbe if Facebook does not report back to the board as ordered.
Meanwhile, top GOP lawmakers and other influential conservative voices lashed out on Twitter about the decision, raising the specter of declaring Facebook a monopoly in violation of U.S. anti-trust laws -- an action that could mean a bid to break up the company.
"Facebook is more interested in acting like a Democrat Super PAC than a platform for free speech and open debate," House GOP Minority Leader Kevin 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."
The founder of the Daily Wire, Ben Shapiro, simply put out a tweet calling the decision “absurd.”
Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted an ominous warning to those on the left cheering the decision.
“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 tweeted.
Meanwhile Trump announced Tuesday that he is launching his own platform, “From the Desk of Donald Trump,” on his own website.
Viewers will be able to read the posts, but can not yet interact.
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