MENLO PARK, CA – Facebook’s Content Oversight Board – an independent entity with the ability to overrule decisions made by the social media platform – has ruled for now to uphold the company’s “indefinite” ban on former President Donald Trump’s ability to use their service, according to reports.
What this means is that Trump will continue to not have access to Facebook and Instagram for the foreseeable future. However, the Oversight Board also ruled that it was “not appropriate” for Facebook to impose an “indefinite” ban on Trump, and laid down a six-month deadline for the company to either restore his account access, set a specific end-date for his suspension, or permanently ban him from the platform altogether.
“In applying a vague, standardless penalty and then referring this case to the Board to resolve, Facebook seeks to avoid its responsibilities,” the Oversight Board said. “The Board declines Facebook’s request and insists that Facebook apply and justify a defined penalty.”
In response to the ruling, Nick Clegg, Facebook’s Vice President of Global Affairs and Communications, issued a statement saying that the company will “now consider the board’s decision and determine an action that is clear and proportionate. In the meantime, Mr. Trump’s accounts remain suspended.”
Trump was originally banned from Facebook for 24 hours on January 6 for allegedly using his account to “incite a violent insurrection” at the U.S. Capitol; however, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the next day that the ban had been extended “indefinitely.” Several other social media platforms, including Twitter and YouTube, also banned Trump that day or soon after.
At the time of the ban, Trump maintained that his conduct on the day of the Capitol riots was “totally appropriate” and said that his Facebook ban was a “huge mistake” that the company would regret.
Trump’s ban was controversial at the time that it occurred, with Republican politicians and right-wing commentators arguing that it was a clear-cut case of Big Tech’s bias against conservative viewpoints. However, others maintain that the ban was overdue and that Trump and pages that supported him had previously been granted great leeway, even when their posts blatantly violated Facebook’s rules.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the Former President announced he had launched his own online platform on his website in a section called “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump“ however, it is not the social network that has been expected to be launched. This new section will only allow Trump to communicate with his followers without interacting with them.
“President Trump’s website is a great resource to find his latest statements and highlights from his first term in office, but this is not a new social media platform,” senior advisor Jason Miller told Fox News. “We’ll have additional information coming on that front in the very near future.”