The Facebook oversight board has upheld the blacklisting of former President Donald Trump’s accounts for now, giving Facebook another six months to announce whether it will be removing the suspension or deleting Trump’s pages.
The Daily Mail reports that Facebook’s oversight board, also known as the “Supreme Court” of Facebook, has voted to temporarily uphold the ban on former President Trump’s accounts on the platform. The board has reportedly told Facebook that it needs additional six months to decide whether former President Trump is suspended temporarily or permanently.
The board stated in its announcement that it was upholding the suspension for now but also criticized Facebook for violating its own rules by not providing Trump with an end date for the suspension as it does for its other users.
The board stated that Facebook cannot “make up the rules as it goes along,” by banning some users for a limited amount of time and others indefinitely. The board stated:
The Board 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.
However, it was not appropriate for Facebook to impose the indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension.
Facebook’s normal penalties include removing the violating content, imposing a time-bound period of suspension, or permanently disabling the page and account.
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.
This is the first time Facebook has ever blocked a world leader from using its platform. Trump was also banned from Twitter during the week of the Capitol riots.
Twitter CFO Ned Segal commented on the Facebook Oversight Board’s decision and whether it would affect Trump’s account on Twitter, stating: “Well, there has been no changes to anything we have shared in the past around the former president’s account. When you step back and think about our policies, we want to work hard to be consistent, to be transparent so people know exactly what to expect from us.”
“We don’t have an oversight board like that. Our team is accountable for the decisions that we make,” Segal added. “There is no changes to anything we have talked about in the past.”
The Facebook Oversight Board is an independent body that rules on Facebook’s decision’s and Facebook cannot overrule the board, but does pay the salaries of the board.