Facebook was forced to boot former US President Donald Trump off the platform yet again this week when he tried to escape the ban by speaking in an interview with his daughter-in-law Lara Trump, who posted it on her Facebook Page.
The former president’s reappearance on the social media platform didn’t come as a complete surprise though, since Lara Trump had already announced via Facebook-owned Instagram that she would be interviewing him on The Right View.
Lara is married to Eric Frederick Trump, the third child of Donald Trump. As noted by Media Matters for America, Lara posted screenshots of alleged emails from Facebook saying that the video of the interview was removed because it featured the voice of Donald Trump.
Apart from removing content “in the voice of President Trump”, Facebook has apparently also indicated that it would place restrictions on accounts which publish such posts. Trump has been banned from the platform since the infamous attack on Capitol Hill on January 6th this year.
Trump had initially been barred from Instagram and Facebook for 24 hours for inciting the violence — the ban was extended indefinitely later on. Although an oversight committee is currently considering lifting the suspension of his account, Trump’s latest tactic to evade the block might work against him.
The former president has already been blocked from Twitter, YouTube and Snapchat. Section 230 of America’s 1996 Communications Decency Act allows these companies to do so with impunity. This bit of Internet legislation gives big tech the freedom to continue censoring what people can and cannot post on their platforms.
Of course, it also lends plenty of fodder for debate. Some are of the opinion that Internet giants shouldn’t be immune from punishment if they allow misinformation, violence, illegal activities and so on to be perpetuated through their platforms.
Others feel it gives companies like Facebook and Twitter too much censorship powers. Various bills to reform Section 230 have been introduced in Congress since last year. The matter has yet to be put to rest.