Facebook has announced Donald Trump will remain banned for two years, following the Oversight Board upholding the initial ban.
Donald Trump was banned in the wake of the January 6 insurrection, when some Trump supporters entered the US Capitol after having been let in by security. The ban stemmed from two posts Mr. Trump made during the “riot” that perpetuated claims the election had been stolen which big tech does not agree with.
Former President Trump responded today via an email post:
Facebook’s Oversight Board upheld the ban last month, saying it was justified, although it recommended it be revisited in time. Facebook has now said Mr. Trump’s ban will remain in effect for two years, beginning January 7. The suspension will only be lifted if the threat to public safety has subsided.
“At the end of this period, we will look to experts to assess whether the risk to public safety has receded,” wrote Nick Clegg, VP of Global Affairs. “We will evaluate external factors, including instances of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly and other markers of civil unrest. If we determine that there is still a serious risk to public safety, we will extend the restriction for a set period of time and continue to re-evaluate until that risk has receded.”
The company also outlined additional measures that will be taken against public figures who contribute to violence, especially during times of heightened unrest. Mr. Trump will have to abide by this new framework at such time when his account is reinstated.
“When the suspension is eventually lifted, there will be a strict set of rapidly escalating sanctions that will be triggered if Mr. Trump commits further violations in future, up to and including permanent removal of his pages and accounts,” Clegg added.
Clegg also acknowledged that these measures are not the ultimate solution, and called for measured legislation to help address the larger issue when acknowledging the limitations of the Oversight Board.
“Its response to this case confirms our view that Facebook shouldn’t be making so many decisions about content by ourselves,” continued Clegg. “In the absence of frameworks agreed upon by democratically accountable lawmakers, the board’s model of independent and thoughtful deliberation is a strong one that ensures important decisions are made in as transparent and judicious a manner as possible. The Oversight Board is not a replacement for regulation, and we continue to call for thoughtful regulation in this space.”
The case is a study in the challenges social media platforms currently face, challenges that will only become more difficult.