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The Oversight Board will uphold Facebook’s suspension of Donald Trump

The Board agrees with the removal, but states that Facebook needs to look at its policies.

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Image: KnowTechie

After announcing recently that Facebook’s Oversight Board would have a decision on Donald Trump’s suspension today, the report is now available.

The Oversight Board has announced that it has “upheld Facebook’s decision on January 7, 2021, to restrict then-President Donald Trump’s access to posting content on his Facebook page and Instagram account.”

The Oversight Board has also announced that Facebook has six months to look at its policies regarding removals and suspensions, as Trump’s penalties were not in line with how it treats standard users and that rules need to be more clearly defined.

The Board insists that Facebook review this matter to determine and justify a proportionate response that is consistent with the rules that are applied to other users of its platform. Facebook must complete its review of this matter within six months of the date of this decision. The Board also made policy recommendations for Facebook to implement in developing clear, necessary, and proportionate policies that promote public safety and respect freedom of expression.

Essentially, this means that Facebook has six months to look at the suspension and decide the appropriate penalty – either banning him or allowing him back. “This penalty must be based on the gravity of the violation and the prospect of future harm,” notes the Oversight Board.

While Trump had posts removed and flagged, it was the posts during and after the January 6 riot at Capitol Hill that ultimately led to his “indefinite” removal.

Videos and messages posted at that time encouraged people to stop, but Trump also maintained that the election was stolen, going as far as to tell the rioters that he loved them and that they were “very special.”

The Oversight Board notes that these posts “severely” violated Facebook and Instagram’s Community Standards, as the terminology mentioned above directly goes against rules against praise and support for people engaged in violence.

The Board’s critique comes from the method in which he was suspended. By giving Trump an undefined suspension, it goes against Facebook’s published policies regarding bans and suspensions.

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