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Facebook’s Oversight Board Upholds Suspension of Trump’s Account

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Facebook’s independent Oversight Board decided to uphold the social media platform’s decision to suspend former President Donald Trump’s account.

“The Board has upheld Facebook’s decision on January 7 to suspend then-President Trump from Facebook and Instagram. Trump’s posts during the Capitol riot severely violated Facebook’s rules and encouraged and legitimized violence,” the board wrote in a statement.

According to the board, Facebook also violated its own rules by “imposing a suspension that was ‘indefinite.'”

The statement continued, “Within 6 months of today, Facebook must review this matter and decide a new penalty that reflects its rules, the severity of the violation, and prospect of future harm. Facebook can either impose a time-limited suspension or account deletion.”

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The board called on Facebook to “ensure that if a head of state or high government official repeatedly posts messages that pose a risk of harm under international human rights norms, the company should either suspend the account for a set period or delete it.”

The board added, “If Facebook opts for a suspension for a set period of time for influential users, the company should assess the risk of the user inciting significant harm before the suspension ends. If the risk remains, Facebook should impose another suspension.”

When touching on the ‘”newsworthiness’ of a public figure’s remarks,” the board explained it should “never take priority over urgent action to prevent harm.”

Facebook suspended Trump’s account following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

“We believe the risks of allowing the president to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, said at the time.

The former president launched a place to post messages to his supporters called, “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump.” The messages can be shared by others on Twitter and Facebook.

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