Facebook’s ban on former President Trump’s account will continue following a decision issued by its independent Oversight Board on Wednesday.
“The Board found that, in maintaining an unfounded narrative of electoral fraud and persistent calls to action, Mr. Trump created an environment where a serious risk of violence was possible,” the Board wrote in a statement.
While the Board did uphold the suspension, it also found that the indefinite suspension was not appropriate.
The panel is requesting that Facebook review the decision to develop a “proportionate response that is consistent with the rules that are applied to other users of its platform.”
“Within six months of this decision, Facebook must reexamine the arbitrary penalty it imposed on January 7 and decide the appropriate penalty,” it said.
Since earlier this year, Trump has been suspended from the platform based on posts made surrounding the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
The decision will leave Trump with limited ways to reach the public in the same way he did.
Trump has been issuing statements to the press via email, and while many of them have been shared on social media widely, his reach and dominance over news cycles have clearly diminished.
The former president launched a feature on his website Tuesday that essentially amounts to a blog that would let his dedicated fans disseminate short posts to the social media sites that have banned him.
Unlike Facebook’s delayed decision on whether to reinstate Trump’s accounts, other social media platforms, including Twitter, permanently banned his accounts shortly after the posts about the insurrection.
The decision is the most consequential ruling the academics, former politicians, legal experts, and journalists who make up the Oversight Board have weighed in on since Facebook launched the independent body.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to leave the fate of Trump’s Facebook account up to the Oversight Board drew widespread criticism from tech critics on the right and left.
“The real concern is not Facebook’s Trump decision but how this powerful corporation is attempting to dodge accountability by engaging in covert influence schemes to shape public opinion and policy. This compromised Board is only going to make governance and effective regulation even more difficult,” said Jennifer Grygiel, an assistant professor of communications at Syracuse University.
Source: The Hill