The Facebook Oversight Board is set to review the ban of President Donald Trump’s accounts on Facebook and Instagram. The Board said that it had been following the events in the United States closely and Facebook’s response to them.
Trump’s accounts on the giant social media network were suspended indefinitely on January 7, 2021.
“Trump’s decision to use his platform to condone rather than condemn the actions of his supporters at the Capitol building has rightly disturbed people in the US and around the world. We removed these statements yesterday because we judged that their effect -and likely their effect- would be to prove violence.” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a statement.
Twitter suspended his account permanently after Trump supported protesters who attacked the Capitol Hill, resulting in the death of four people.
The Facebook oversight board is a global body consisting of members from around the world. The members have backgrounds in free expression, digital rights, online safety and other related fields. Their job entails making decisions on what content should be allowed or removed from the platforms.
The Oversight Board consists of 20 members, including Kenya Human Rights Advocate, Maina Kiai. Collectively, they have lived in more than 27 countries and speak more than 29 languages among them.
Trump will be able to submit a user statement to the board with reasons why the ban should be overturned. The Oversight’s board rulings are binding and will apply to both Facebook and Instagram.
“A decision by the board on this case will be binding on Facebook and determine whether Mr Trump’s suspension from access to Facebook and Instagram for an indefinite amount of time is overturned.” The board said.
Trump’s case will be assigned to a five-member panel.
The Oversight board started operations in October 2020 and so far, about 20,000 cases have been forwarded to them for arbitration. The board confirmed in November that it had already selected its first batch of cases for review.
Posts which are reported or found to breach Facebook’s content moderation guidelines are normally taken down without consultation. However, users on the platforms can now submit their appeals on content removals to the Oversight board.
Facebook will also be able to consult with the board on whether content should remain up or be taken down. The board’s decision will be independent and final for both users and the social media platforms.
Users will also be able to petition the board on content they want removed from Facebook and Instagram.