Former federal judge and co-chair of Facebook’s oversight board Michael McConnell said on this week’s broadcast of “Fox News Sunday” that former President Donald Trump’s ban results from his own actions.
McConnell said, “On January 6, President Trump issued those statements as a mob was rampaging through the Capitol, as members of Congress cowering in fear, as the rioters were threatening Vice President Pence’s life and at that time he issued he issued these statements which were just egging on — with perfunctory asking for peace but mostly he was egging them on to continue. This is a plain violation of Facebook’s rules against praising dangerous individuals and organizations at a time of violence. So Mr. Trump is subject to the same rules as everyone else.”
He added, “Private companies are not bound by the First Amendment. So he has First Amendment rights. He’s a customer. Facebook is not a government, and he is not a citizen of Facebook.”
Anchor Chris Wallace said, “The argument is that Facebook and Twitter and other platforms have become so big that they can in effect silence people in the digital age, and the argument is, yes, President Trump is able to speak, but it’s not a matter of freedom of speech, it’s a freedom of reach. How do you respond to that?”
McConnell said, “Remember Mr. Trump is the one who issued those inflammatory posts at the very time when rioters were invading Congress and shutting down the constitutionally prescribed process for counting electoral votes. He issued those posts. He is responsible for doing that. He bears responsibility for his own situation. He put himself in this bed, and he can sleep in it.”
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN