Recall the social media giant had announced in January that Trump was locked out of his accounts on Facebook and Instagram indefinitely following the deadly Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol by his supporters.
On Wednesday, Facebook’s Oversight Board temporarily upheld the ban on Trump’s accounts for another six months to final decision.
Within six months, “Facebook must reexamine the arbitrary penalty it imposed on January 7 and decide the appropriate penalty,” the board said Wednesday. “This penalty must be based on the gravity of the violation and the prospect of future harm. It must also be consistent with Facebook’s rules for severe violations, which must, in turn, be clear, necessary and proportionate.”
“It is not permissible for Facebook to keep a user off the platform for an undefined period, with no criteria for when or whether the account will be restored,” the board said.
The board claimed that Facebook gave Trump’s account “a vague, standardless penalty” and then tried to “avoid its responsibilities” by sending the “case to the Board to resolve.”
“If Facebook decides to restore Mr. Trump’s accounts, the company should apply its rules to that decision, including any changes made in response to the Board’s policy recommendations below,” the board’s ruling said. “In this scenario, Facebook must address any further violations promptly and in accordance with its established content policies.”
Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs and communications, said Facebook would consider the board’s decision and “determine an action that is clear and proportionate.”
“In the meantime, Mr. Trump’s accounts remain suspended,” Clegg said in a statement.
Trump responded to the board’s ruling, saying in a statement: ‘What Facebook, Twitter, and Google have done is a total disgrace and an embarrassment to our Country.
‘Free Speech has been taken away from the President of the United States because the Radical Left Lunatics are afraid of the truth, but the truth will come out anyway, bigger and stronger than ever before.
‘The People of our Country will not stand for it! These corrupt social media companies must pay a political price, and must never again be allowed to destroy and decimate our Electoral Process.’
This comes a day after Trump launched a communications platform, where he can post messages that can be shared by others to Twitter and Facebook, sites where he remains banned.
The platform, “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump” appears on www.DonaldJTrump.com/desk. The platform allows Trump to post comments, images, and videos.