Donald Trump hugs a US flag and yells

Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram Ban Upheld (For Now) and Honestly It’s What He Deserves

*Plays worlds smallest violin.*
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Facebook’s Oversight Board has decided to uphold its decision to suspend disgraced former President Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, and it couldn’t have happened to a worse guy. Seriously, somewhere, Trump is sitting there, fuming at Facebook’s decision. How is he supposed to reach his adoring fans without his social media account? How is he supposed to yell about the fake news and stir the pot? Guess he’s going to have to send an official message out from his team in Florida for the Office of the Former President of the United States, or the sad, Twitter-like blog on his website.

And it’s not like it’s going to be forever. According to the Oversight Board, the indefinite suspension of Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts “was not appropriate,” and in the next six months, Facebook will have to decide to either officially make the ban permanent or reinstate his accounts. Do you know what’s also not appropriate? Trump using his social media accounts to spread sexist, racist, ableist, and hateful rhetoric that divided our nation for over 4 years and continues to do so to this day. Someone like that doesn’t need their Facebook and Instagram accounts to be temporarily banned. This is something, a situation, that requires a more permanent solution.

That’s why I’m advocating for the total ban of former and failed President Trump from all social media platforms. And before you scream censorship, understand that Facebook is a private company. You use their services after agreeing to their terms and conditions. In those terms and conditions, there are lines in the sand that you cannot cross. If you do, you are booted from the platform. And Trump, well, he’s been crossing the line since long before he became president of the United States. This is just the culmination of it all.

In 2015, when he was still running to be the Republican nomination, he posted a video calling for a total ban on Muslims entering the country. Content like that continued throughout his campaign because Trump was trying to bond with his racist fanbase. And it didn’t stop when he was elected president. It just got worse, and Facebook stood by and did nothing as Trump used Facebook and Instagram to post misleading information about the COVID-19 pandemic while attacking racial justice protesters as “thugs” because of its “newsworthiness.”

Things started changing in 2020 when public outcry started to gain traction. And despite Facebook’s meager efforts to remove any and all posts that incited violence no matter how newsworthy they were, it felt a little too late. And when the Capitol attack happened in January 2021, I think Facebook realized that they had waited too long. People died in the failed terrorist attack by MAGA supporters of Donald Trump. That’s a line that you can’t uncross, and it was only made worse by Trump’s reaction video where he told them, “We love you, you’re very special.”

Excuse me? Do you even hear yourself, Donal Trump?! *Deep breath in and a deep breath out.* As you can tell, I’m still royally pissed at Trump’s response, and I don’t know anyone who isn’t still. The Facebook ban that immediately followed didn’t lessen my anger at Trump and his response to terrorists, but it made me feel better that Facebook was finally doing something to stop the racist, sexist, and violence-stoking horrible mess that was and continues to be failed and Former President of the United States Donald Trump.

This decision by Facebook sets a precedent for politicians on the platform. And it’s not one of censorship. Seriously, conservatives are having no trouble getting their message out on Facebook.

Instead, it’s a decision based on not allowing politicians to perpetuate violence in any way, shape, or form that could lead to the death of citizens. It’s a decision based on not spreading dangerous misinformation during a global pandemic that is still killing thousands every day. And it’s a decision based on not destroying our democracy in the form of voter suppression and intimidation.

That’s why this Facebook and Instagram ban against Trump is so important and why I hope it sends a message to all of those who think that something like the Capitol attack was nothing. It was and continues to be a defining moment in our history as the United States of America, and we must nip Trump’s continued and dangerous rhetoric in the bud before it gets worse than it already is in a post-Trump world and government. This ban is the first step of many to come, and I’m here for it and whatever steps are taken to protect our democracy and its people.

(image: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

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Author
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Lyra Hale
Lyra (She/Her) is a queer Latinx writer who stans badass women in movies, TV shows, and books. She loves crafting, tostones, and speculating all over queer media. And when not writing she's scrolling through TikTok or rebuilding her book collection.
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