WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday lashed out at three of the biggest tech giants after Facebook’s quasi-independent Oversight Board upheld the social media platform’s ban on him.
“What Facebook, Twitter, and Google have done is a total disgrace and an embarrassment to our Country,” Trump said 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,” he continued. “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.”
Facebook Oversight Board upholds Trump’s suspensionMay 5, 202101:59
Trump also began fundraising off of the Facebook announcement, texting supporters with a link to donate to his joint fundraising committee Save America. The webpage said, “President Trump is still BANNED from Facebook! Ridiculous! We are handing him a Donor List with the names of EVERY PATRIOT who publicly stood with THEIR PRESIDENT when the Left came after him. If you step up in the NEXT 10 MINUTES, we’ll make sure your name is the FIRST name on the list. Please contribute ANY AMOUNT IMMEDIATELY to stand with President Trump and to get your name at the TOP of the Official Donor List!”
The social media company banned Trump from using its platforms — Facebook and Instagram — the day after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. The board said Wednesday that Trump “created an environment where a serious risk of violence was possible” by maintaining a narrative that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.
Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, tweeted: “Our right to freedom of speech comes from the Constitution, not Facebook’s 'Oversight Board.' Big Tech has become an extension of the left’s woke mob and Congress should hold them accountable.”
Some of Trump’s GOP allies also denounced the decision to keep the ban.
Trump’s last White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, told Fox News on Wednesday that it was “a sad day for America, it's a sad day for Facebook.”
He criticized the amount of influence that big tech companies have on free speech and media content, saying: “Google and Facebook and YouTube actually control much of what America sees, whether it's you and I talking right now and it gets reposted on any of those platforms, they have the ability to actually raise that profile or lower it. And so it is time that we break up big tech, not just regulate them.”
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, tweeted, “Break them up,” and Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., on Fox News described social media companies’ employees as “practically Bolsheviks.”
“Now that's OK, this is America,” Kennedy said. “You can believe what you want. But no one believes that these social media platforms will regulate or censor, let's say, Sen. Bernie Sanders like they would former President Donald Trump or Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.”
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., called the decision “extremely disappointing” in a statement. She has previously criticized Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for “silencing conservatives” on their platforms.
Democrats applauded the oversight board's decision. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted: “There's no Constitutional protection for using social media to incite an insurrection. Trump is willing to do anything for himself no matter the danger to our country. His big lies have cost America dearly. And until he stops, Facebook must ban him. Which is to say, forever.”