Facebook’s oversight board, formed last year, will look at the social media company’s decision to suspend the account of former US President, Donald Trump.
The social media platform joined arms with other online platforms to suspend Trump’s Instagram and Facebook accounts after the Capitol Hill riots. At the time, the company justified the move saying, “the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great.”
Facebook indefinitely banned Trump from Facebook and Instagram, the company’s photo-sharing app.
But in the hands of the new Oversight board, which comprises experts and civic leaders worldwide, things could change. But there are only two ways out — an overturn or uphold.
Facebook established the board in 2020 to call the final shots on the company’s trickiest content decisions. No one can overrule the board’s decisions, not even by Facebook’s founder and current CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.
However, before the final ruling is made, Trump’s account will remain suspended.
“While we await the board’s decision, Mr. Trump’s access will remain suspended indefinitely,” wrote Nick Clegg, VP of Global Affairs at Facebook. Facebook still stands by its decision, and Clegg says they believe it was necessary and right and hopes the board could uphold the move.
“We look forward to receiving the board’s decision — and we hope, given the clear justification for our actions on January 7, that it will uphold the choices we made.”
The suspension of a prominent political figure like Mr. Trump is unprecedented, and, hopefully, it won’t happen again, he says.
“It was an unprecedented set of events which called for unprecedented action,” Clegg says.
Facebook indefinitely suspended Trump for at least two weeks to ensure a safe transition of power. Like other platforms, the company moved fast to curb Trump’s online presence after Capitol Hill’s storm.
Twitter and Snapchat have permanently banned Mr. Trump from their platform, and other platforms have temporarily suspended his accounts. Twitch also suspended Trump’s account and Shopify took down Trump’s campaign store.
Trump’s Twitter ban hit hard as the former US President has been a religious user during his presidential term. Sometimes Trump broke the big news on the platform first.
Now that his megaphone “Twitter” is gone, it remains to be seen how the next few years will be for Trump.