Facebook’s court-like Oversight Board said on Wednesday, that the ban carried out on Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts following the infamous Jan. 6 Capitol riots will continue but Facebook must review the decision within six months.
The Oversight Board, an independent entity for appealing content decisions on Facebook-owned platforms, said Facebook can keep blocking former President Trump from using its platform. However, the board said Facebook must review the decision within six months.
“Within six months of this decision, Facebook must reexamine the arbitrary penalty it imposed on January 7 and decide the appropriate penalty. Adding such penalty “must be based on the gravity of the violation and the prospect of future harm”, the board wrote.
The board also criticized Facebook for having made Trump’s suspension indefinite. “In applying a vague, standardless penalty and then referring this case to the Board to resolve, Facebook seeks to avoid its responsibilities,” said the board.
The board said Facebook must review the decision and figure out if Trump should be banned from the platform forever. It could have made that decision itself, but by choosing to hand the decision back to Facebook it once again puts Zuckerberg’s powerful role in overseeing public discourse in the United States in the spotlight, along with the arbitrary nature of how Facebook moderates its platform.
In response, Facebook said in a statement that it will “consider the board’s decision and determine an action that is clear and proportionate.”
Facebook has six months from today to decide Trump’s fate.