We read through the public comments on Trump’s Oversight Board ruling and the responses are wild

We read through the public comments on Trump’s Oversight Board ruling and the responses are wild

Earlier this week, Facebook’s Oversight Board – an independent panel set up to review content decisions taken by the social media platform – issued its long-anticipated ruling on former US President Donald Trump’s ban from Facebook and Instagram.

The Republican was dealt with an “indefinite” suspension from the two platforms following his actions in the run-up to the attack on the US Capital in January which left five dead including one police officer. Facebook later referred their decision to the Board, in a case which received more than 9,000 public comments.

The sheer scale of the response led to a delay in the ruling being announced, with the decision published on Wednesday.

“Given the seriousness of the violations and the ongoing risk of violence, Facebook was justified in suspending Mr. Trump’s accounts on January 6 and extending that suspension on January 7.

“However, it was not appropriate for Facebook to impose an ‘indefinite’ suspension. It is not permissible for Facebook to keep a user off the platform for an undefined period, with no criteria for when or whether the account will be restored.

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“In applying a vague, standardless penalty and then referring this case to the Board to resolve, Facebook seeks to avoid its responsibilities. The Board … insists that Facebook apply and justify a defined penalty,” it reads.

Alongside sharing its finding, the Board also linked to a document, totalling almost 8,600 pages, containing the public comments on the Trump case.

Naturally, we decided to browse through them all, picking out the weirdest and wildest responses to the question of whether Facebook was right to place an “indefinite” suspension on Trump’s accounts.

“My comment just wishes to convey the fact that I know that Facebook is an inherently Satanic conglomerate whose sole mission is the destruction of traditional America.”

This is a comment from Frank Zito, who insisted that not only Facebook, but the Oversight Board and “big tech” are all “inherently evil”.

Never before has a ‘poke’ been so powerful.

“You who reads this hates widespread success and freedom … Your sin is unforgivable and you are irredeemable,” he said.

“Before passing judgment on Mr Trump. People came there without being invited by Trump. By some accounts 1 million people. 99 per cent were friendly, less than 1,000 and maybe as low as 100 people were causing raucous behaviour.” 

In addition to Gregory Taddeo’s comment being unfounded and unproven, Trump held a rally in Washington on the day of the riot. 

Speaking to the crowd, he said: “We’re going walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators, and congressmen and women. We’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them, because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.

“We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated … I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”

That sure sounds like an invitation…

“When will social media start defending all religions, including Christianity … There is something wrong in this world when Satanists and atheists have greater rights than Christians. Saying “Merry Christmas” is offensive.”

Ho-ho-holy moly, someone lock up Santa Claus.

“As far as the uprising on [6 January], President Trump simply stated that his supporters should show up for support, and that the event was going to be ‘wild’. He didn’t instigate the ‘riots’.”

“I once went to a Pink Floyd concert in Milwaukee, [Wisconsin]. It was advertised that it was going to be a ‘WILD’ event. It was, and there were some that got out of hand. 

“Was that the fault of the promoters? I don’t think so,” commented Walter Glanz.

Only a Trump fan could compare a violent and deadly insurrection to a Pink Floyd concert.

“Just because someone dresses up as a Trumpist with a MAGA hat doesn’t mean they are one.”

That sure sounds like a Trump supporter to me, and I don’t think it’s anyone’s first choice when it comes to fancy dress.

Halloween, on the other hand…

“Save our freedom of speech and our tight [sic] to bear arms … We love Trump. We stand by him to this day – that bumbling old fart sitting in a chair with earpiece in being controlled by evil dooers! [sic]”

Something tells me that calling Trump a “bumbling old fart” doesn’t sound all that endearing – even when we genuinely refer to a fart as a ‘trump’.

Granted, they may just be talking about President Biden, but Trump supporters aren’t known for their conviction…

Wait, actually, some are.

This particular comment came from Kelly Radde, who listed her occupation as “American”.

Even though there were over 9,000 public comments submitted to the Board in relation to this case, some of these contributions were of use to the panel of experts.

In response to a question from Indy100, Oversight Board co-chair Jamal Greene said during a panel discussion: “I think it’s safe to say that there was deliberation that involved some of the [public] comments. The Board always takes the comments on the procedures very seriously. I can say that in prior cases, not just this case, but other cases as well, the comments we’ve received have been invaluable to my own thinking.”

Hopefully not these ones, though.

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