He was once one of the most famous social media users: Donald Trump. But after his supporters stormed the Capitol in January, multiple platforms decided to ban him. Today it was announced that he will not be getting his accounts on Facebook and Instagram back for the time being.
That is what the Oversight Board has decided today. The Board is a kind of ‘court’ of Facebook and Instagram, which has to check whether both platforms adhere to their own rules.
According to Marietje Schaake, director of international policy at Stanford’s Cyber Policy Center, the Oversight Board is not exactly independent. “Facebook has a lot of power in what the board of the Oversight Board can or cannot do. It is a selected group of people who cannot express everything about Facebook. For example, they have nothing to say about advertisements,” says Schaake.
Watch again in six months
The board did say that Trump’s indefinite suspension of Facebook was “inappropriate.” The Oversight Board wants Facebook to look at this again within six months. The platform must then reconsider whether the ban is permanent.
The punishment is not in the rules of Facebook. “Facebook’s normal penalties are deletion of posts, temporary suspension or permanent account disablement,” the council said.
“Actually, the decision has been put forward”, says Schaake. “I expect we will get the same thing again in six months. The ball will bounce back to Facebook.”
Facebook said in a response that Trump’s suspension was “ necessary and proper. ” Regarding the indefinite duration of the sentence, Facebook reports, “We are considering the Board’s decision and will determine clear and appropriate action. In the meantime, Trump’s accounts remain suspended.”
Former US President Donald Trump was banned from Facebook on January 7 this year, one day after his supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to reverse the 2020 election results. When Trump was blocked, he had 35 million followers on Facebook and 24 million on Instagram. Trump has also been blocked on Twitter. That ban is probably final.
‘Corrupt social media’
Trump says in a statement that he wants social media to be tackled. “What Facebook, Twitter and Google have done is a total disgrace to our country. Free speech has been taken away from the president as the radical leftists fear the truth,” the former president said in a statement.
He added, “These corrupt social media companies must pay a political price and never again be allowed to destroy our electoral process.”