Change The Terms Comment to the Facebook Oversight Board Regarding the Suspension of Donald Trump

  • On February 21, 2019, Donald J. Trump’s Facebook page posted a Facebook Ad with an image of barbed wire and the words “AMERICA’S SAFETY IS AT RISK” and the message: “We have an INVASION! So we are BUILDING THE WALL to STOP IT. Dems will sue us. But we want a SAFE COUNTRY! It’s CRITICAL that we STOP THE INVASION.” On August 3, 2019, a white gunman committed mass murder in El Paso, Texas. His “manifesto” explicitly reflected Trump’s xenophobic Facebook rhetoric.
  • On May 28, 2020, Donald J. Trump referred to the Black Lives Matter protesters in the wake of George Floyd’s death as “thugs” and posted on Facebook “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” referring to the military opposition that would confront the protestors. Facebook’s own Civil Rights Auditors were “deeply troubled” by Facebook’s decision to leave up the post. In the US, more than 10,000 people were arrested for participating in these protests. On August 25, 2020, during protests against the police shooting of Jacob Blake, two protestors were shot and killed by a white man there to “protect” businesses. He was joined by others there in response to a call to arms posted on Facebook: “Any patriots willing to take up arms and defend out [sic] City tonight from the evil thugs?” Trump’s rhetoric emboldened this action and is echoed in that call.
  • On June 20, 2020, during a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma that was live streamed on his Facebook page, Donald J. Trump referred to the coronavirus pandemic as the “Kung Flu,” saying also, “China sent us the plague.” Over the last year, Trump’s Facebook posts use “Chinese Virus” or “China Virus” nearly fifty times. On May 11, 2020, Donald J. Trump posted a Facebook Ad stating that the “coronavirus infected millions, crushed the world economy, one nation deserves the blame, China.” Fueled by this type of rhetoric, Asian Americans have faced thousands of hate incidents during the pandemic.
  • On December 7, 2015, Donald J. Trump posted on Facebook a “Statement on Preventing Muslim Immigration” demanding “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” On September 30, 2020, Donald J. Trump posted a Facebook Ad claiming that “JOE BIDEN WANTS TO INCREASE REFUGEES FROM SYRIA & SOMALIA BY 700%,” followed by a screen with the country names of “SYRIA,” “SOMALIA,” and “YEMEN” alongside the label “TERROR HOTSPOTS.” Anti-Muslim bias incidents increased during this time, with a 2017 spike around the Muslim Ban.
  • On June 17, 2020, Donald J. Trump posted a Facebook Ad with a Nazi concentration camp symbol, saying: “Dangerous MOBS of far-left groups are running through our streets and causing absolute mayhem. They are DESTROYING our cities and rioting- it’s absolute madness.” The most recent data available suggest Anti-Semitic hate crimes are at record highs.
  • Over the last four years, Donald J. Trump used Facebook to broadcast a constant barrage of misogyny. His Facebook posts have called women ditzy, airhead, not very smart, inexperienced, disgusting, foul mouthed, crazy, nasty, mean, condescending, dumb as a rock, deranged, America hating, and more. Donald J. Trump called Speaker Pelosi “Crazy Nancy” in more than twenty-five Facebook posts. A man who stormed the Speaker’s Office to search for her on January 6, 2021 bragged about it on Facebook, echoing Trump’s Facebook posts as he described the violence he planned should he meet her: “Crazy Nancy probably would have been torn into little pieces.”

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Change the Terms Coalition

Change the Terms Coalition

We believe that tech companies need to do more to combat hateful conduct on their platforms.