Facebook’s “independent” Oversight Board has upheld the social media platform’s permanent ban on former President Donald Trump – for now.
The board, which was tasked with determining whether the 45th president should remain barred from one of the world’s largest social media websites, said that while the ban will remain in place for the moment, the permanency of Trump’s ban doesn’t appear to be based on any consistent rules applied by Facebook. The board called Facebook’s decision to boot Trump from their platform was "indeterminate and standardless" and advised the platform develop rules that apply to everyone equally and aren’t based on a subjective determination and are instead “consistent with the rules that are applied to other users of its platform.”
Trump was banned from both Facebook and Twitter following the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol after both platforms accused the then-president of using his massive following on their websites to incite violence. At the time, Facebook President Mark Zuckerberg said the risks of allowing Trump to remain on the platform were "simply too great.”
Another win for censorship and the suppression of dissenting voices, and a loss for free speech. Facebook also gets its first opportunity to interfere with the 2024 election. https://t.co/9SsAFxAHT0— Brent Bozell (@BrentBozell) May 5, 2021
Incidentally, the only person proven to have died in the chaos was a Trump supporter who was shot and killed by Capitol police while trying to climb through the broken window of a locked door.
In their decision to let the ban remain in place at least temporarily, the oversight board has given Facebook six months to come up with a clear set of standards for when a person can be banned from the platform, and for what reasons.
The board, made up of journalists, activists, attorneys and scholars, is paid for by Facebook but supposedly makes its decisions “independently.”