Friday, May 14, 2021
Enrique Armijo, a professor of law at Elon University, discusses the Facebook Oversight Board's recent decision concerning FB's suspension of Donald Trump's account. He writes in part,
Critics on the Right who are protesting as unconstitutional the oversight board’s decision to continue letting Facebook ban Trump should either know better, or are relying on the fact that their constituents don’t. Facebook is a private company, and the First Amendment, which applies only to the government, has nothing to say about how or whether it can remove a user’s post or account. But commenters on the Left and Right have have expressed concern over what they view as Facebook’s unchecked power to ban users or take down posts generally, and world leaders like Trump more specifically. Indeed, the oversight board itself was a response to these concerns; as Mark Zuckerberg said in 2019, the goal of the board was to relieve Facebook from “making so many decisions about speech on [its] own.” So those who expressed concerns about the scope of that power should meaningfully engage with the board’s decision. If they do, they will find much to feel good about.
Read his entire essay here at Bloomberg Law's Privacy & Security Law blog.