Facebook owns an independent body called the Oversight Board, which was constituted last year with the purpose to review some of the most complex platform moderation decisions. The Board is now open to public comments on Facebook’s decision to “indefinitely” ban former President Donald Trump following the mob attacks on the US Capitol took place on the 6th of January.
There were two posts that led Facebook to ban Trump from both Facebook and Instagram for the next 24 hours. One of the posts included a video that Trump posted on his account, that contained false claims regarding the US elections. The other post was a written one that read “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”
Facebook then said that the ban would remain in place indefinitely and through Inauguration Day at least. As a result, Trump has not been allowed to post anything on Facebook or Instagram since January 6th.
The company referred its decision to its Oversight Board that is expected to make a final decision by the end of next month. Vice president of Facebook’s global affairs and communications Nick Clegg said “We believe our decision was necessary and right.”
Now the social media company is seeking the public’s opinion on whether its decision complies with its responsibilities to respect freedom of expression and human rights, and what it should do should in case a similar situation arises in the future.
According to the Oversight Board, it will be accepting public comments until 10AM ET on February 5th. There are also some requirements that it has stated, such as the submissions must be written in English and be no longer than two pages when written in 12-point Times New Roman font, among others.