Facebook’s ‘arbitrary,’ ‘inconsistent’ censorship follies

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Facebook oversight board co-chair says website wields ‘too much power’

Letters to the Editor — May 8, 2021

Facebook’s ‘oversight board’ just shows how tyrannical it’s become

“Facebook exercises too much power,” the co-chairman of the social-media giant’s Oversight Board told Fox News on Sunday. Its decisions “are arbitrary, they are inconsistent, and it is the job of the oversight board to try to bring some discipline to that process.”

Indeed, its “rules are a shambles,” Michael McConnell said. “They are not transparent, they are unclear, they are internally inconsistent.”

He was explaining the board’s decision on Facebook’s banning of former President Donald Trump after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Rather than decide itself, the panel left the ultimate call up to Facebook’s content moderators to restore Trump’s account or suspend it for a fixed period — or permanently: “Facebook must make its decision and be held accountable for what it decides.”

Meaning, plainly, that if it bans Trump, it needs to ban other figures who are similarly outrageous — say, Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei or incendiary Rep. Maxine Waters.

The board, McConnell notes, gave Facebook’s staff several months “to make their rules clearer and more consistent” and “apply those rules in a straightforward way.” That’s the way things should be — are Mark Zuckerberg and his woke staffers capable of it?

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