May 5, 2021

"Facebook’s oversight board has upheld the company’s decision to restrict Donald Trump’s access to the social media platform."

The Guardian reports. (To comment email me here.) 

UPDATE: Full text of the opinion here.

ADDED: I'm not surprised. If the decision had gone the other way, Facebook could have found some new offense and banned him again.

AND: From the NYT article gives some details about the decision, which is not as harshly anti-Trump as it may have first looked:

Facebook’s Oversight Board, which acts as a quasi-court to deliberate the company’s content decisions, said the social network was right to bar Mr. Trump after he used the site to foment an insurrection in Washington in January. The panel said the ongoing risk of violence “justified” the suspension.

But the board also said that Facebook’s penalty of an indefinite suspension was “not appropriate,” and that the company should apply a “defined penalty.” The board gave Facebook six months to make its final decision on Mr. Trump’s account status.

“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,” it said in a statement.

AND: Let me quote from Trump's new blog, a post dated April 30:

Twitter stock “plunged” as results are no longer cutting it for investors. Shares are off 15% today. Bad forecasts are hurting the outlook but more importantly, in my opinion, it has become totally BORING as people flock to leave the site. Michael Nathanson stated, “the math doesn’t make sense” as he lowered his price target. I guess that’s what happens when you go against FREEDOM OF SPEECH! It will happen to others also.

By the way, Trump calls his new blog "From the Desk of Donald Trump," which we were laughing about, because it's like the old personalized memo stationery about which jokes were made as far back as — going on my personal memory — the 1970s. The classic joke angle was to take it literally and imagine that the memo came from the piece of furniture. I'll bet there's an old New Yorker cartoon with just a desk — no person — and the desk somehow has an arm and a hand that's holding a pen writing on a paper headed "From the Desk of William Q. Smyth." I'm just using "William Q. Smyth" as a stand-in for whatever name The New Yorker would have cooked up for this cartoon. That's not part of my bet! I'm sure I'd lose that kooky bet. "William Q. Smyth" was just me trying to come up with the "Joe Blow" of businessmen of the sort who might read The New Yorker.