On Fox News Sunday, Facebook Oversight Board member Michael McConnell told host Chris Wallace that Facebook is "arbitrary" and "inconsistent" in the application of its own guidelines.
McConnell is a former federal judge and is one of the four co-chairs of the international Oversight Board for Facebook. Wallace and McConnell discussed the issue at length during the course of the interview. McConnell made it clear that the initial ban on Trump's account was acceptable, in his opinion. He, however, took issue with the ban later becoming permanent, commenting the following:
"Mr. Trump is subject to the same rules on Facebook as everyone else, and the Oversight Board held that this was in fact a violation and thus Facebook was justified in taking them down."
"What we did say, though, was that they were not justified in taking him down indefinitely, that they did not provide any reasons for that, that is not a provision in their rules. That was wrong."
"What we are trying to do is bring some of the most important principles of the First Amendment, of free expression law globally, into this operation. Facebook exercises too much power. They are arbitrary. They are inconsistent. And it is the job of the Oversight Board to try to bring some discipline to that process."
"We gave them a certain amount of time to get their house in order. They needed some time because their rules are a shambles. They are not transparent. They are unclear. They are internally inconsistent. So we made a series of recommendations about how to make their rules clearer and more consistent."
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