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Facebook upholds ban against Donald Trump

The company’s oversight board says the ban was justified after the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Trump AP

Donald Trump will continue to be banned from Facebook, the company’s oversight board announced on Wednesday (May 5). The board said Facebook was justified in its initial banning of the former president after the Jan. 6 insurrection, but said more assessment is needed to decide how long the ban should last.

“Given the seriousness of the violations and the ongoing risk of violence, Facebook was justified in suspending Mr. Trump’s accounts on Jan. 6 and extending that suspension on Jan. 7,” it said.

The upheld Facebook ban also bars Trump from Instagram, as Facebook owns the platform. Facebook created the oversight board last year to hear appeals from users who have had their posts removed for sensitive, threatening or otherwise rule-breaking content. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg previously pledged to abide by the decisions of the 20-person board, though they are not legally binding.

While the oversight board upheld the ban, they disagreed with Facebook’s “indefinite” removal of Trump. The company usually takes down posts, suspends accounts or permanently disables accounts, but the indefinite ban was unprecedented, the board said.

“As Facebook suspended Mr. Trump’s accounts ‘indefinitely,’ the company must reassess this penalty,” they said.

After the deadly Capitol riot, Trump was also permanently suspended from Twitter. In a statement, the platform said it would be updating its rules of conduct and “permanently suspended [Trump’s] account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”

On Tuesday evening (May 4), before his upheld Facebook ban was announced, Trump launched his own “communications platform,” Fox News reported. In a video, Trump reportedly said the site would be a place to “speak freely and safely.”

“In a time of silence and lies, a beacon of freedom arises,” he said. “A place to speak freely and safely, straight from the desk of Donald J. Trump.”

According to the outlet, Trump will be able to post comments, images and videos on the platform, but his followers will not be able to “reply” or engage with the posts.

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