Trump Facebook ban decision to be announced on 5 May, oversight board says

Company chief Mark Zuckerberg said risk of president on platforms ‘simply too great’ following Capitol riots

Alex Woodward
New York
Monday 03 May 2021 14:30
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Zuckerberg denies Facebook’s role in polarising US
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Facebook’s independent oversight board will announce whether it will uphold its suspension of Donald Trump from the company’s platforms on 5 May.

The social media company indefinitely suspended then-president Trump from Facebook and Instagram following an insurrection at the Capitol on 6 January.

In April, the board announced that it received more than 9,000 responses following an extended public comment period.

Following the pro-Trump riots, fueled by the former president’s persistent lie that the 2020 election was “stolen” from him and his supporters, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that “the risks of allowing President Trump to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great.”

“His decision to use his platform to condone rather than condemn the actions of his supporters at the Capitol building has rightly disturbed people in the US and around the world,” Mr Zuckerberg wrote in a post on 7 January. “We removed these statements yesterday because we judged that their effect – and likely their intent – would be to provoke further violence. ,”

Facebook handed a decision over his indefinite suspension to the oversight board, which contains an international group of free speech, human rights and technology experts and legal scholars, providing the company with “principled, independent decisions that are binding on Facebook about important pieces of content” and issuing advisory opinions on Facebook’s content moderation policies.

The board will announce a decision in Mr Trump’s case at 9am EDT on Wednesday.

Mr Trump was locked out of his Twitter account for 12 hours after the riot, then permanently banned from the platform two days later.

Google’s YouTube said it would lift a ban on his channel when the “elevated violence risk” subsides, CEO Susan Wojcicki said in March.

Several other platforms, including Reddit, Twitch and Snapchat, have also taken action against Mr Trump and accounts and message boards affiliated with his allies and supporters for repeat content policy violations.

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