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Why sticking to Trump’s Facebook ban won’t break the cycle

Why sticking to Trump’s Facebook ban won’t break the cycle


“It is inappropriate to impose indefinite and unlimited penalties on Facebook,” Decided to read. The board of directors wrote that Facebook needs to review the matter on its own and “determine and prove a proportional response commensurate with the rules that apply to other users of its platform.” The board set a deadline of six months from now. , By then we will undoubtedly have another news cycle about Trump’s presence on social media.

For many years, Trump has been at the center of the cycle of attention, which is both extremely important and meaningless.A head of state uses his personal Twitter account to expand extremist content, manipulate public attention, repost stupid memes, promote dangerous conspiracy theories, and talk directly with followers who are ultimately willing Stormed into the parliament building Attempt to overthrow an election they mistakenly believed to be a stolen election.

For many years, companies like Facebook and Twitter have not interfered with Trump’s social media posts, claiming that even if he violated platform regulations on misuse or false information, their “newsworth” should keep him protected. During the pandemic, this situation began to change because Trump used his platform to repeatedly spread misinformation about voting and the virus. Throughout the summer, Twitter began adding “fact checks” to Trump’s rules-violating tweets, which annoyed the president so much that he threatened to repeal Article 230, which freed many Internet companies from assuming responsibility for their services. Responsibility.

But even if Trump stays away from major social media platforms forever, this cycle has already been established. Trump will continue to make statements, regardless of whether he is on social media or not, his supporters will share these remarks and be reported by the media. Without him, the network attention cycle that revolves around him will last a long time, and the underlying structure that makes Trump’s presence on social media influential will continue to exist.

This is the “worst case of Facebook putting this thing together”.

Joan Donovan, Center for Media, Politics and Public Policy, Seanstein University, Harvard University

A permanent ban on Trump from Facebook will keep him on the edge of these networks. Whitney Phillips, an assistant professor at Syracuse University, said, but focusing too much attention on platform decision-making itself is very misleading. He studies media literacy and disinformation. . Trump’s social media success partly comes from the platform, but partly from the “economic, political and social undercurrents”, which inspired Trump and will continue to promote the arrival of the next Trump.

Phillips said: “Trump’s accounts are exhausted because they diverted attention from the deeper things that we had to deal with yesterday.” The decision of the oversight committee was hyped up as about how Facebook balances freedom of expression. And a safe referendum. Instead, this is not a decision, and it hasn’t changed much about why we ended up here.

Joan Donovan, research director of the Seanstein Center for Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, believes that the creation of the board itself is “essentially a media public relations activity.” She said that the board’s approach meant that Facebook’s task was to decide on its own how to apply its own policies, which was essentially “the worst-case scenario for Facebook to put this together.” “They only have one job.”

“When talking about Facebook, you have to remember that Facebook is more than just a place for people to post messages,” Donovan said. “It effectively provides you with the ability to have your own TV station”, as well as a network of related pages and accounts that can quickly expand the audience of content. Facebook is an organization tool and broadcast network, and its functions are often used for good or bad.


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