Bar-a-Lago: Facebook to review Trump ban
Facebook’s independent oversight board will review the company’s decision to ban former US president Donald Trump’s social media accounts.
Both Trump’s Facebook and Instagram profiles will remain suspended while the review is underway, the company announced.
In the first move of its kind, Mark Zuckerberg’s company suspended the former president earlier this month in the hours after an insurrection at the US Capital in Washington DC.
Facebook expressed concerns that Trump’s presence on the social media sites could stoke further civil unrest among supporters.
Trump last week became the first US president in history to be impeached twice, after a majority at the US House of Representatives formally charged him with inciting an insurrection.
Inciting real-life violence is against Facebook’s policies and meets the requirements for a permanent ban.
Facebook initially said it would suspend Trump’s account until at least the end of his presidential term, which concluded yesterday, though it underlined that the ban could last indefinitely.
“I’m very confident of our case,” Facebook’s head of global affairs, Nick Clegg, told Reuters. “I’m very confident that any reasonable person looking at the circumstances in which we took that decision and looking at our existing policies will agree.”
Facebook’s independent oversight board was created in October last year in response to criticism over the company’s handling of problematic content.
Its 20 members include former Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, former European Court of Human Rights judge Andras Sajo, and ex-Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt.
The ruling on Trump’s presence on Facebook will form its first major case, and will likely shape future policy for the platform.
Trump’s Facebook page administrators will have the option to submit a written statement challenging the company’s decision.
Twitter, meanwhile, has suspended Trump permanently.
Social media firms have been drawn under sharp scrutiny in recent weeks over the extent to which they played a role in radicalising insurrectionists.
Now-defunct platform Parler is understood to have been the main online platform for planning the attacks on the Capitol on 6 January.
However, a Washington Post investigation last week revealed Trump supporters promoted the plans extensively on Facebook and Instagram, using the services to organise bus trips to Washington.