A new Oversight Board will decide on the account suspension of former US President Donald Trump from Facebook.
The independent Oversight Board, created by Facebook last year to rule on controversial moderation decisions, will be tasked to review the current suspension placed on the account of former President Trump.
Trump’s account was disabled indefinitely last January 7 following the US Capitol riots. The former president will be to submit a user statement to a five-member case-review panel.
The board’s decision will be considered binding and will also be applied to Instagram.
Ban on Trump
Facebook blocked Trump from posting on its platforms following attacks of his supporters on the US Capitol. In a blog post, chief executive officer (CEO) Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook and Instagram will ban Trump from posting for at least the remainder of his term in office.
Zuckerberg said: “We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great. Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”
The Facebook CEO argued that Trump demonstrated that he “intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden.”
Facebook and other social media companies faced significant pressure from advocacy groups and prominent people to ban Trump after his inflammatory rhetoric that encouraged his supporters to stage the violent protests at the Capitol.
Prior to President Joe Biden’s inauguration, Facebook also banned “stop the steal” content.
“With continued attempts to organize events against the outcome of the U.S. presidential election that can lead to violence, and use of the term by those involved in Wednesday’s violence in D.C., we’re taking this additional step in the lead up to the inauguration,” Facebook said in a blog post.
Moreover, the company said it will consider the next two weeks as a major civic event and prevent any misinformation or content that could lead to further violence.
Additionally, the social media platform also prohibited creating Facebook events near the White House through inauguration day. It blocked the creation of new Facebook events taking place near the White House, the U.S. Capitol building, and state capitol buildings.
According to the social media giant, it was aimed to prevent people from using its network to incite violence. Accounts and pages based outside the US won’t be able to create events in the country as well.
Facebook also mentioned the restriction on other features for people in the US based on certain actions, such as repetitive violations of its policies. The company noted it could block those accounts from making live video or creating an event, Group, or Page. It would also make new measures as needed.
According to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, the insurrection at the US Capitol had not “largely” been held on the social media company’s services. However, there were still groups that were able to post on Facebook about attacking the Capitol building before the riot last week, based on a CNBC report.