Former President Donald Trump again hinted at a possible run for the presidency while responding to the news that he’ll be banned from Facebook for two years, saying he won’t attend dinners requested by CEO Mark Zuckerberg “next time I’m in the White House.”
After Facebook Vice President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg announced on June 4 that the former president would be suspended from the platform for two years starting Jan. 7, the day he was initially hit with the ban, Trump responded with a statement saying there would be no more friendly dinners with the Facebook chief.
“Next time I’m in the White House there will be no more dinners, at his request, with Mark Zuckerberg and his wife,” Trump said in the statement. “It will be all business!”
The former president hosted Zuckerberg at the White House twice in 2019.
Following news of Facebook extending the ban, Trump issued a separate, sharply worded statement saying the ban was an insult to the tens of millions of people who voted for him in “the rigged presidential election,” stating that the social media giant “shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this censoring and silencing.”
“Ultimately, we will win. Our Country can’t take this abuse anymore!” Trump wrote.
The former president’s remarks tap into a broader frustration by those on the right that dominant social media platforms are suppressing conservative voices.
Constitutional lawyer Craig Parshall told The Epoch Times in May that Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act—which shields social media and other companies from content-related lawsuits—helped a handful of Big Tech firms rise to powerful heights.
“That gift was to incentivize competition. What it’s done is it’s grown a series, a handful of giants—I’d say it’s Facebook, Google, Twitter, Apple, and Amazon—five companies that basically rule the landscape in terms of digital information, viewpoint, and opinions, everything from politics to religion to culture, arts, and entertainment,” Parshall said on Epoch TV’s “Crossroads” program.
“So you have five monopolies created as a result of a congressional subsidy in the form of a ‘get out of lawsuit free’ card.”
Parshall referred to these companies as “monopolies over the flow of information, which is essential to a constitutional republic,” and called their market dominance “a critical issue.”
“If we had a thousand Facebooks, that wouldn’t be a problem. Because if 10 of them decided they were going to not carry the New York Post article during the election that had implications for Joseph Biden because of Hunter Biden, his son, it would not be the restriction of the free flow of diversity of opinion,” he said, referring to social media suppression of articles reporting on the contents of a laptop purportedly belonging to Hunter Biden on the eve of the 2020 presidential election.
“But when you have five companies that basically rule the vast majority of digital landscape on all these issues, then you have a market dominance issue, antitrust problems, and you have a suppression, as the Supreme Court said, just as dangerous as if the government were the one doing it.”
The perspective that social media giants are aligned against conservatives has prompted a number of Republicans to call for legislation to break up dominant Big Tech firms.
Joshua Philipp and Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.