The Atlantic Daily: Trump Made Content Moderation Into Reality TV

Writers from around our newsroom discuss the former president’s suspension from Facebook—and the effectiveness of the company’s new oversight board.

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Donald Trump remains banned from Facebook—for now. The company’s oversight board upheld the former president’s suspension, which was put into place in January following the riots at the United States Capitol.

But the board, which is funded by Facebook, didn’t rule on whether said ban should be permanent, kicking the decision back to the company. Facebook itself now has six months to make the final call.

  • This is content moderation as spectacle. “Never before has a blog post about an account suspension been plausibly described as ‘anticipated,’” my colleague Kaitlyn Tiffany writes.

  • The real problem isn’t Trump—it’s Facebook. “Lives depend on what unnamed, unelected people in a single corporation decide is acceptable speech,” our staff writer Helen Lewis points out. “The oversight board represents a heroic attempt to solve an unsolvable problem: concentrated, unaccountable power.”

  • Ban Trump forever. “The answer seems clear,” Paul Rosenzweig argues. “If Facebook restores Trump to the platform, he will lie again.”


What to read if … you want to know what the Gates divorce means for the future of the couple’s fortune:

“Today’s ideal partner is somehow simultaneously your lover, your best friend, your equal co-parent, and your life coach,” our staff writer Joe Pinsker, who’s covered what happens when the super-rich split, notes. “Maybe it asks too much of marriage to expect your spouse to co-chair a billion-dollar philanthropic enterprise with you too.”

What to read if … you’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of this spring’s cicada swarm:

Impress your loved ones with your bug expertise: Did you know that each individual cicada contains “effectively dozens of organisms in a single body”?

Tonight’s Atlantic-approved activity:

Explore nature. (No, watching Planet Earth does not count.) Try taking in tonight’s sunset from outside, or go for a plant walk around your neighborhood.

Today’s break from the news:

The first “real friend” you make after college is special.


Every weekday evening, our editors guide you through the biggest stories of the day, help you discover new ideas, and surprise you with moments of delight. Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox.