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Donald Trump’s Facebook ban upheld by oversight board

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Former US President Donald Trump has responded angrily to the Facebook oversight board’s decision to uphold his suspension from the platform, saying social media companies “must pay the price” for cracking down on him.

Mr. Trump was banned from publishing on Facebook and Instagram after his supporters attacked the US Capitol Building on January 6. They attempted to stop Congress from counting the electoral votes from the 2020 election and finalizing Joe Biden’s victory.

Facebook said Mr. Trump had used its platforms to spread misinformation and incite violence against the US government. He had spent the previous months claiming – falsely – that the election was “stolen” from him through widespread fraud.

Today the oversight board, a panel of experts Facebook set up to review its more contentious content moderation decisions, ruled that Mr. Trump’s suspension was justified – though it also criticized the company for making the ban indefinite.

Elsewhere, the former President has been permanently banned from Twitter and is barred from posting new videos on YouTube, which Google owns.

“What Facebook, Twitter, and Google have done is a total disgrace and an embarrassment to our country,” Mr. Trump said in a statement after the oversight board’s judgment was posted.

“Free speech has been taken away from the President of the United States because the radical left lunatics are afraid of the truth, but the truth will come out anyway, bigger and stronger than ever before.

“The people of our country will not stand for it! These corrupt social media companies must pay a political price and must never again be allowed to destroy and decimate our electoral process.”

RELATED: Trump’s Facebook ban referred to the oversight board

In its judgment, published this morning, the oversight board found Facebook violated its own rules by imposing an indefinite suspension on Mr. Trump – an “arbitrary” penalty not laid out in the social media giant’s content moderation policies.

It instructed Facebook to reassess that penalty and replace it with “a proportionate response consistent with the rules”. That could mean a suspension for a clearly defined period or the permanent deletion of Mr. Trump’s account.

“Facebook cannot make up the rules as it goes, and anyone concerned about its power should be concerned about allowing this. Having clear rules that apply to all users is essential for ensuring the company treats users fairly,” the board said.

“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.”

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About author
Tristan McCue is a 26-year-old junior programmer who enjoys reading, binge-watching boxed sets, and appearing in the background on TV. He is smart and friendly, but can also be very evil and a bit lazy.He is an Australian Christian. He has a post-graduate degree in computing.
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