Many have understandably applauded Facebook’s decision to ban former President Donald Trump from the site for the next two years, but the ability of a company to decide who should be in the public square, which the social network has effectively become, raises troubling questions about the future of our tattered democracy.
The decision was announced by Nick Clegg, the former deputy prime minister of the United Kingdom who’s now the vice president of global affairs at the social network, but there’s no question that the final call here belonged to Facebook’s co-founder, chairman, CEO, and controlling stockholder.
Not long ago, Mark Zuckerberg was a kind of folk hero to many Americans, a nerd who made billions with an idea developed at a Harvard dorm. He was a firm believer in free speech as recently as 2019, even to the point of offending the progressive cognoscenti. All that has changed, along with the political currents.