Facebook's oversight board has determined that the social media company was justified in banning former President Donald Trump from the platform following the insurrection attempt at the U.S. Capitol.
"Given the seriousness of the violations and the ongoing risk of violence, Facebook was justified in suspending Mr. Trump's accounts on January 6 and extending that suspension on January 7," the board said.
The board explained that Trump's comments leading up to and after the Capitol riots on January 6 "legitimized" the violent actions of the protesters.
"At the time of Mr. Trump's posts, there was a clear, immediate risk of harm, and his words of support for those involved in the riots legitimized their violent actions," the board said.
While the board upheld the decision to de-platform Trump, they said that Facebook must reexamine the decision in six months.
"As Facebook suspended Mr. Trump's accounts' indefinitely,' the company must reassess this penalty," the board said. "It is not permissible for Facebook to keep a user off the platform for an undefined period, with no criteria for when or whether the account will be restored."
The board explained that Facebook's decision to permanently ban Trump was "arbitrary" and said the social media company must create "clear rules" that are fairly applied to all users.
"Facebook cannot make up the rules as it goes, and anyone concerned about its power should be concerned about allowing this," the board said. "Having clear rules that apply to all users and Facebook is essential for ensuring the company treats users fairly."
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