Facebook’s oversight board upheld the company’s decision to restrict former President Donald Trump’s access to to Facebook and Instagram on Wednesday, but said that the company must clarify whether it intends the penalty to be permanent or temporary.
Facebook “indefinitely” blocked Trump’s access to the platform as well as Instagram on Jan. 7, following the the riotous invasion of the Capitol by his supporters the day before.
Though it upheld the decision, the board said “it was not appropriate for Facebook to impose the indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension,” because Facebook’s normal policy is to either remove content, impose a time-bound suspension on an account, or to permanently disable a page or account.
“The Board insists that Facebook review this matter to determine and justify a proportionate response that is consistent with the rules that are applied to other users of its platform,” the decision reads. “Facebook must complete its review of this matter within six months of the date of this decision.”
The decision was the most high-profile action yet in the short history of the oversight body, which has been called Facebook’s
“supreme court,” because it has the final say on contentious decisions regarding whether to remove content from the website, based on the social-networking platform’s community standards, which prohibit users from inciting violence, among other restrictions.
Since the former president was kicked off Facebook and other popular social media platform’s, including Twitter, Trump has taken to getting his message out through press releases and interviews on cable television.
On Wednesday, he launched a new blog called “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump,” which enables him to post tweet-length posts and videos and to request donations to his political action committee, called Save America.
It’s unclear what impact the decision will have on Trump’s access to other platforms, including Google’s
YouTube and Twitter
Twitter characterized its ban of the former president as “permanent” when Facebook explained only that Trump was being placed on an “indefinite ban.”