FORMER US president Donald Trump.
FORMER US president Donald Trump.

Facebook oversight body decides to maintain ban on Trump

By Wesley Diphoko Time of article published May 5, 2021

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Facebook’s oversight board has upheld Facebook’s ban on former US president Donald Trump, as announced by the organisation.

This comes after Trump was suspended from Facebook platforms, following an accusation that he inspired the Capitol riot in January.

The decision-making body, which is funded by Facebook, has, however, called on the social media giant to review this decision within the next six months to “determine and justify a proportionate response, that is consistent with the rules that are applied to other users of its platform.”

Trump remains banned on other large social networks. Yesterday, Trump attempted to escape the influence of platforms entirely by launching a new “communications platform” on his campaign website, resembling a Twitter feed. In it, he encourages supporters to sign up for post alerts, with their emails and phone numbers.

The decision by Facebook, to ban the former US president, was criticised by some who were concerned about the power of social media giants to silence leaders, due to their views. This has also raised questions about the true nature of social platforms, as to whether they should be classified as publishers to avoid confusion about how they should handle content on their platforms.

The decision by the oversight board will probably bring back the debate about the regulation of social media platforms, as their content moderation role is scrutinised.

The body has also urged Facebook to conduct a review into its contribution to the narrative of electoral fraud and political tensions, that led to the events of January 6. They indicated that this should look at Facebook’s design and policy choices, that may allow its platform to be abused.

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