At 9 a.m. on Wednesday, after deliberating the matter for several months, Facebook‘s oversight board announced that it would not be lifting the company’s ban on Donald Trump, and that moratorium on the ex-president’s deranged ravings would remain in place until at least November 2021. For his part, Trump surprised everyone by taking the news in stride, remaining calm, cool, and collected, and reportedly telling an adviser, “I respect their decision. I messed up and am rightfully paying the price.”
No, just fucking with you, of course. In reality, the 45th president, who was kicked off Facebook (and Twitter and YouTube) after encouraging his followers to stage a coup, reacted exactly as everyone though he would, i.e. by throwing an impotent fit in which he falsely claimed his First Amendment rights have been violated and threatened vengeance against Big Tech, which he believes is conspiring against him to hide the “truth” about…something.
“What Facebook, Twitter, and Google have done is a total disgrace and an embarrassment to our Country,” the living embodiment of a disgrace and embarrassment to the United States wrote/screamed in a statement. “Free Speech has been taken away from the President of the United States because the Radical Left Lunatics are afraid of the truth, but the truth will come out anyway, bigger and stronger than ever before. The People of our Country will not stand for it! These corrupt social media companies must pay a political price, and must never again be allowed to destroy and decimate our Electoral Process.”
What price the companies might pay is not clear but Trump’s allies laid out a few suggestions after news of the extended ban was announced. On Fox News, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said it was “a sad day for Facebook” because Congress will likely now be forced to break up the company. Senator Josh Hawley, who recently wrote a book called The Tyranny of Big Tech, tweeted: “Here’s a real life example of the tyranny of #BigTech- a fake @Facebook court decides @Facebook can do whatever @Facebook wants, in this case, suspending Donald Trump [without] process or standards. That’s what monopolies do. Break them up.” (Actually, that’s what private companies do.) Rep. Jim Banks similarly chimed in, writing: “This is a dangerous and reckless decision and sends a clear signal to conservatives using social media—you’re not welcome here. If Facebook is so big it thinks it can silence the leaders you elect, it’s time for conservatives to pursue an antitrust agenda.” (Actually, conservatives are extremely welcome on Facebook, where posts by right-wing personalities and outlets regularly rank in the top 10 of all U.S. accounts and most recently included ones by Ben Shapiro, Fox News, Dan Bongino, and Sean Hannity.)
When it comes to paying a price, though, it’s Trump who’ll likely pay a very big, very literal one, according to The New York Times:
Facebook has increasingly become one of the most vital weapons in a political campaign’s arsenal, with its ability to juice small-dollar online-fundraising numbers into the millions, expand and acquire contact information, help build out data on a campaign’s voter file and provide the most sophisticated advertising platform available. Few campaigns had tapped into Facebook’s potential for advertising and fundraising as aggressively as Mr. Trump’s. His successful 2016 campaign said its prolific use of Facebook had allowed it to send millions of different, hyper-targeted political ads to small slices of the population. “Facebook was the method,” Brad Parscale, the Trump campaign manager in 2020 and digital director in 2016, told 60 Minutes in 2017. “It was the highway which his car drove on.”
That continued in 2020, as his re-election operation devoted a nine-figure budget to Facebook advertising. And much like he did with his Twitter account, Mr. Trump often turned to Facebook’s advertising platform in times of political crisis…. Though Mr. Trump is out of office and living at his resort in Florida, he retains broad influence over the Republican Party. But his platform for reaching Americans has diminished greatly without access to big social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, which has permanently suspended the former president. Some Trump aides think that the absence of Facebook, which was crucial to his success in 2016, will hinder him if he decides to run again in 2024, which he has told several advisers is his plan.
The decision by Facebook does not immediately hamper Mr. Trump’s fundraising ability—he still maintains control of a large number of supporter email addresses and phone numbers. But fundraising lists must be continually refreshed, and Facebook has proved a crucial place for Mr. Trump to do so.
“He has the best fundraising list, but that decays over time if you’re not adding back into it,” Eric Wilson, a Republican digital strategist, told the Times. “So because they don’t have the ability to run ads on Facebook, they’re losing out on petitions to grow their email list, surveys, things like that—the tactics that every campaign has to be doing 365 to really maintain their fundraising.” As Mike Nellis, a Democratic digital strategist, told Politico, “It’s a huge blow to his fundraising and ability to communicate with the masses. [It’s] going to make it very difficult to make a comeback.”
So that’s a shame.
Fox News blasts 11, possibly 12 year-old for questioning Trump’s pandemic response
Ted Cruz has cozy dinner with man who called his wife ugly and claimed his father helped assassinate JFK
Trump allies who tried to overturn the election form group to fight “election fraud”
They just care so much about election integrity, WINK WINK:
The American Greatness Fund, a nonprofit advocacy group aligned with the ex-president, is set to unveil the formation of the Election Integrity Alliance on Wednesday, which it says will be “focused on ending election fraud and strengthening election safeguards by providing information, resources, endorsements of allies’ efforts, and solutions to secure free and fair elections.”
Ballot fraud has become an animating issue for Trump supporters, since the former president has baselessly claimed the 2020 election was tainted by it. Several of the alliance’s board members, including former Trump attorney Jenna Ellis, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, and former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik became prominent voices in the former president’s failed effort to fight the election outcome.
For those of you who can‘t keep your Trump toadies straight, Ellis is the attorney who styled herself as a Constitutional law expert but who, in reality, spent no time at all litigating election law cases and, per the New York Times, “never appeared in federal district or circuit court, where most constitutional matters are considered, according to national databases of federal cases.” (According to the Wall Street Journal, she handled “traffic cases and other misdemeanors” after graduating from law school in 2011.) Ken Paxton is the Texas AG who sued to overturn the election results in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, a lawsuit legal experts called “dangerous garbage.” And Kerik is the Rudy Giuliani pal who pleaded guilty in 2010 to tax fraud and other charges. (Naturally, he was pardoned by Donald Trump.) Kerik also made a name for himself by conducting an affair at an apartment near Ground Zero that was reserved for 9/11 rescue workers. If you can’t trust these guys to safeguard your elections, who can you trust?
Biden team says it supports waiving patent protections on Covid-19 vaccines (Politico)
Moderna booster shots effective against Covid variants in early study (Politico)
Bill Gates transferred $1.8B in stock to Melinda on day of divorce news (NYP)
Judge orders DOJ to release Trump obstruction memo, says Barr was ‘disingenuous’ (NBC News)
‘Gary walked right through’: Woman’s Facebook posts allegedly placed husband in Capitol riot (Washington Post)
Krispy Kreme files for IPO (NYP)
Surfer allowed to keep tooth of shark that took his leg in attack (NYP)
‘Nap reviewer’ dream job pays $1,500 for 30 naps (UPI)
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