- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Facebook’s decision on Trump is in, and it’s… inconclusive. The social media giant we all know and love from episodes such as “The One Where Russia Decided the Election” and “The One Where Your Small-Town Mom Became an Anti-Vaxxer” returned this morning with an Oversight Board special, wherein the future of Trump’s social media fate was supposed to be decided. Would he stay? Would he go? Would he live to sip another covfefe? It was all in their hands.
Then, the outcome: The board upheld the ban on the 45th president, but said it would reassess in the near future. It also decided that indefinite detention in social media jail goes against its conventions — in other words, booting Trump off Facebook and Instagram in January while failing to provide details on the amount of time he was suspended was wrong. Within six months, they will have to come to a final decision about whether America’s biggest victim complex gets a platform or not, and in what timeframe.
In other words, it’s good news or it’s bad news, depending on who you’re talking to. Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows declared it a “sad day for America” and a “sad day for Facebook” on Fox News, while making vague allusions about how Zuckerberg’s baby will suffer consequences. His buddies followed suit.
Luckily, these six months leading up to the Oversight Board’s second decision will give the 45th president the publicity he needs to tempt people over onto his burgeoning and not-at-all-idiotic new semi-platform. I say semi-platform, because “From the Desk of Donald Trump” is not even trying to be a democratic space like Facebook or Twitter. Instead, it is a nonstop feed of tweet-like thoughts and sometimes videos from Trump and only Trump, which the ultra-dedicated can follow on his campaign website “Save America”. If you sign up, you can be notified every time he sends a message. You cannot become part of the conversation yourself.
Whether or not this speaks more to the coding capabilities of the people who work for the twice-impeached former leader than any overarching strategy, it still says a lot about how The Donald thinks social media works. It’s just a big megaphone for his thoughts and nothing else, not even a discussion about how 5G gave Brenda in Birmingham a miscarriage between “concerned parents” (although it does come with the functionality to share what he says on Facebook and Twitter, which should be all the conversation anybody needs!) It’s that kind of narcissistic egocentrism that I think we can agree America’s just been crying out for. I can see why he’s effectively advertising it on his website as a slice of what we can all expect from a resurrected presidential bid in 2024.
Whether or not Trump and his cronies belong on social media has become a nice little conversation about Big Tech and Cancel Culture for Republicans and other so-called free speech advocates. Indeed, talking about Big Tech in the same breath as the Fake News Media and the Liberal Elite has become a veritable sport for most of the GOP members still clinging on to their yellow-haired daddy long after he went out for cigarettes and never came home. Donald-loving Florida governor Ron DeSantis is currently pushing through a bill in his home state that would “ban de-platforming” from companies like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube; in other words, it seems to mean substantive fines for whenever someone DeSantis thinks is important enough gets booted off or suspended.
But here’s the rub: Big Tech is just a collation of American-owned private companies, the likes of which Republicans are supposed to champion. Making the 2021 culture war about bringing those businesses under state control all sounds a bit… well, you know… communist. While the Trumpist Republicans continue to express dismay about their dear leader not getting to shout about putting his political opponents in prison on every single website on the internet, it does rather put a dampener on their claims that Joe Biden is the secret socialist out to turn the USA into Venezuela.
How long can this cognitive dissonance continue? And how long until some Democrats start pointing their own Reds Under the Bed fingers at Donald and his pals? Your guess is as good as mine — but if I were AOC, I’d be dusting off my keyboard warrior gloves and getting stuck straight into those social media networks Trump is still banned from to spread the word.