Former President Donald Trump cannot live without being on social media. Like a dumped boyfriend, he continues to pine for his lost love, or loves. For now, he is till banned by both Facebook and Twitter, but Trump is trying to appeal his exile from Facebook. However, like with many an obsessed ex-boyfriend, Trump is not pursuing a reconciliation because he is so much in love with his ex, but because he is so much in love with himself.
The former President has formally appealed his indefinite suspension from both Facebook and Instagram to the company’s independent oversight board. Facebook had asked this board, established to review its problems with fake news and outright lies posted by users, to review Trump’s case back in January.
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So the big question here is – will it actually end the ban and if so will Facebook do this any time soon?
Helle Thorning-Schmidt,, the former Danish Prime Minister, currently serves as a co-chair of the 20-member Facebook Oversight Board. She spoke about the Trump issue in an interview with England’s Channel 4 TV. She acknowledged that they are currently reviewing the matter and acknowledged that this is a very high profile case. Thorning-Schmidt also said that they welcome input from the public on the matter.
“One thing I think is quite good about how we deal with these things is not only does Facebook have a statement about why they did what they did. The user can also put in their statement about their opinion,” she said.
“A third thing that can happen is that we are open for public comments about this particular case. We’ve already received public comments in the thousands and thousands.”
But some of Facebook’s senior management are already voicing their opinions and have expressed hope that the ban will continue to stand. Nick Clegg, who once served as a Deputy British Prime Minister, and who currently serves as Facebook’s VP of global affairs, is one of them.
“We hope, given the clear justification for our actions on January 7, that (the board) will uphold the choices we made,” Clegg said in a statement. “We have taken the view that in open democracies people have a right to hear what their politicians are saying – the good, the bad and the ugly – so that they can be held to account.”
And Clegg added, “But it has never meant that politicians can say whatever they like.”
Well Donald Trump can at least count on one authentically successful American businessman and billionaire to support his campaign for reinstatement. Bill Gates, who just so happens to be a major Facebook investor, has voiced a desire to see Facebook eventually take Trump back.
“I don’t think banning somebody who actually did get a fair number of votes — well less than a majority — but I don’t think having him off forever would be that good,” Bill Gates told Yahoo.
Gates went on to explain that Facebook could always flag or delete any misleading or false posts that Trump might make in the future. “If he’s spreading lies about the integrity of the election, does that need to be labeled? Is he actually less important in terms of causing trouble in the future than he was in the past?,” said Bill Gates.
“But it’d be kind of a shame if they have to use such an extreme measure,” he added.
Or maybe Donald Trump should just drop his bid for reinstatement and take Groucho Marx’s famous advice. When offered membership in an exclusive private club, which once spurned him because it did not accept Jews, Marx replied that he could not accept because he would never join a club that would have himself as a member.