Analysis

The fight between Facebook and Trump is just starting – and this decision will only make it more significant

Facebook’s independent oversight panel says the social media giant must review the decision to ban the former president in six months. Andrew Griffin explains why this is the correct decision, albeit the least satisfying

Thursday 06 May 2021 02:56
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<p>Donald Trump and his supporters are still upset that he is not on Facebook</p>

Donald Trump and his supporters are still upset that he is not on Facebook

It was a conclusion that seemed destined to please nobody, and annoy everybody. Donald Trump and his supporters are still upset that he is not on Facebook, his opponents have to wait for another six months to find out if they won, and Facebook has to do some soul-searching.

But the decision taken by the company’s Oversight Board was perhaps the best possible one for the health of our online conversations and the companies who rule over and profit from them. The most upsetting and difficult possible choice could also prove to be the best one.

When Facebook decided to ban Mr Trump – after he praised the rioters involved in an armed insurrection at the Capitol – it was pushed to make a decision it never really seemed to want to make. Urged by all sides to decide whether the president should be allowed to stay on the platform, it did as much as it could to pick nothing, until events forced its hand.

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