Facebook to reassess ban on Donald Trump?

Former U.S. President Donald Trump threatens Facebook, Twitter and Google. Facebook evaluates ban if he is guilty to pay a political price.

Facebook to ban Former President Trump

Former US president Donald Trump has lashed out at Facebook after the social media company’s independent oversight board upheld a decision to ban him from the platform for the moment. On the condition that Facebook will have to “reassess” the indefinite ban within six months. While upholding the suspension, the board faulted Facebook in a statement for the way it made the decision. 

The board said the ongoing risk of serious violence justified Facebook’s suspension at the time, it “was not appropriate for Facebook to impose an ‘indefinite’ suspension.” Facebook was seeking to avoid its responsibilities by applying “a vague, standard-less penalty”, then referring the case to the board to resolve. 

“Indefinite penalties of this sort do not pass the international smell test,” -Michael McConnell (oversight board co-chair) 

In response to the board’s decision, Mr Trump released a statement accusing social media companies of violating his free speech. “What Facebook, Twitter, and Google have done is a total disgrace and an embarrassment to our Country, these corrupt social media companies must pay a political price, and must never again be allowed to destroy and decimate our Electoral Process.” Mr Trump said. 

(source: ABC)

Reconsideration of the ban & violation of rules 

In a blog entry, Nick Clegg; Facebook vice-president of global affairs and communication said Facebook will consider the recommendation to review the indefinite ban by enforcing a “board’s decision and determining an action that is clear and proportionate”.

Mr Trump’s social media accounts were suspended on January 6 for several posts he made in the lead up to the US Capitol insurrection that read “We love you. You’re very special,” he said to the rioters in the first post. In the second, he called them “great patriots” and told them to “remember this day forever.” . The decision marked the first time Facebook had blocked a current president, prime minister or head of state over a post they had made.  

They had violated Facebook’s rules against praising or supporting people engaged in violence, the board said. At the time of the suspension, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said in a post that “the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great.” 


(Source: Allen; Fischer, 2019)

End Results 

The company later referred the case to its recently established board, to decide whether to uphold the ban or restore Mr Trump’s accounts. The binding verdict marks a major decision for the board, which rules on a small slice of challenging content decisions and which Facebook created as an independent body as a response to criticism over how it handles problematic material.


Kathryn Eliot, Haichun Wang, Selena Wu, Yueqi Zhang