Facebook’s Trump ban lacks power to withhold his impact

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Joel Bautista | The Ticker

Jahlil Rush

Social media platforms have played a large role in the present divisive political era, and former President Donald Trump’s now-banned social media accounts is an example of a user who used their accounts wrongfully.

Facebook’s announcement to uphold Trump’s banishment from the site is necessary given his history, but his influence is still far too strong.

Facebook announced that Trump would remain banned from the site for at least the next two years after concluding that his post on Jan. 6 invoked violence at the U.S. Capitol. Trump’s social media banishment coincides with the upcoming 2022 midterm elections.

Facebook Vice President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg released a statement following the decision made by the tech company’s Oversight Board.

“Given the gravity of the circumstances that led to Mr. Trump’s suspension, we believe his actions constituted a severe violation of our rules which merit the highest penalty available under the new enforcement protocols,” Clegg said.

There is an observation to be made that Trump’s prolonged banishment from Facebook can be deemed ironic, given that his rhetoric was most infamous on Twitter rather than Facebook. Without both at his disposal, he now finds himself releasing statements through a blog.

With Facebook keeping Trump off its platform, it sets a precedent that no one is above the rules when it comes to cyberbullying and inciting violence with the power of their words.

Trump was known for name-calling and throwing insults at his political opponents using his social media platforms. Over four years of rhetoric came back to bite him when the attack on the U.S. Capitol occurred.

Giant tech companies have a responsibility to ensure that events like the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol never happen again due to the powerful words of a prominent figure.

Despite Trump’s social media presence now nearly gone, he may not need Facebook to reach out to his supporters and political allies. David Corn, an MSNBC analyst and Washington Bureau chief for Mother Jones, wrote that Trump’s ability to garnish campaign donations is unbeatable.

“No one in the GOP can raise cash like Trump. Even in defeat (or perhaps because of it),” Corn wrote.

According to the Federal Election Commission, Trump’s Make America Great Again Committee made $62.6 million at the end of 2020 during a time when Trump was pushing the false narrative that the 2020 presidential election was rigged. Around that same time, the Republican National Committee raked in $18.8 million.

The multi-million price tags show not only how huge his supporter base is but just how loyal they are, as well. Adding the campaign donations to the fact that Trump now has his blog only proves that keeping him off social media has been overdue.

Trump’s influence has cast a wide net over the current Republican Party.

Although Republican identification is at an all-time low — approximately 29% according to a Gallup poll — many who lean Republican are Trump supporters. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz are just some who are beholden to Trump long after his tenure in office.

Overall, Facebook’s decision, while ethically noble, arrived too late. Republican powerhouses, in addition, to the everyday Trump supporters are still very much loyal to him.