Facebook board upholds ban on Donald Trump — for now

Facebook board upholds ban on Donald Trump — for now
Mark Zuckerberg by Frederic Legrand, Shutterstock

An external oversight board created by Facebook has upheld the social media platform's decision to ban Donald Trump, saying on January 6 two of his posts "severely violated Facebook's Community Standards."

The board also told Facebook it has six months to re-examine its decision, essentially as CNN reports, punting the decision back to Mark Zuckerberg.

"However," the oversight board's 35-page decision adds, "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."

That essentially forces Facebook's Zuckerberg to make a decision, and keep that decision in line with its standard policies.


"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," the board adds. "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."

The board also made clear the degree of damage and risk Trump inflicted.

"The Board found that, in maintaining an unfounded narrative of electoral fraud and persistent calls to action, Mr. Trump created an environment where a serious risk of violence was possible. At the time of Mr. Trump's posts, there was a clear, immediate risk of harm and his words of support for those involved in the riots legitimized their violent actions. As president, Mr. Trump had a high level of influence. The reach of his posts was large, with 35 million followers on Facebook and 24 million on Instagram."

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.