By Rich Lowry | 6 July 2021
NEW YORK POST — It is said that medieval scholastic philosophers debated how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. If so, they didn’t have anything on the amorphous and tendentious deliberations of Facebook regarding who is allowed to post on its social network, most pertinently former President Donald Trump.
On Jan. 7, the day after the Capitol riot, Facebook indefinitely blocked Trump. The firm then kicked the matter to its “oversight board.” On Wednesday, the board kicked the ball back into Facebook’s court.
If Facebook had set out to demonstrate that it has awesome power over our speech and is wielding that power arbitrarily, it wouldn’t have handled the question any differently.
The case of Facebook v. Trump is an open invitation to political actors to swoop in to reduce the social network’s power or write new rules for it, and, indeed, Trump-friendly Republicans are making loud calls for action.
It isn’t clear what the best solution is, or even if there is a solution, but there is obviously a problem.
In its wisdom, the Facebook Oversight Board said that it was “not permissible” for Facebook to impose an indeterminate, standard-less penalty of indefinite suspension on Trump — then upheld the suspension!
It called on Facebook to review the suspension within six months and made some suggestions toward developing rules to follow in such cases, which has an “Alice in Wonderland” quality to it — verdict first, rules about whether the verdict is correct later. […]