Facebook Oversight Board rules to permanently ban Trump's account

Business Insider US
Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.

  • The Facebook Oversight Board ruled on Wednesday to permanently ban Trump's account.
  • The former president was indefinitely banned from Facebook after the deadly Capitol siege.
  • One source close to Trump told Axios that Facebook is "essential for his future political viability."
  • For more stories visit Business Insider.

Facebook's Oversight Board ruled on Wednesday to uphold the social network's suspension of former President Donald Trump's account.

It's a monumental development that comes after Trump was indefinitely banned from Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms following the deadly Capitol siege on January 6, which he's been accused of inciting.

Per the board's rules, Facebook has seven days to enforce to board's binding decision on the content in question. The board's decision cannot be overruled by any employees, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook first referred its decision on Trump's account to its Oversight Board in late January. Since then, the board has invited the public to submit comments before its ruling, as it has done for all cases it's reviewed so far.

Of the thousands of public comments the board says it's received, one of these commenters was Trump himself, according to Channel 4 News. Trump has been an outspoken critic of the board and reportedly called up Zuckerberg himself to protest one of its members, who testified against him at his first impeachment in 2019.

Facebook launched the Oversight Board in late 2020 in an effort to give more attention and resources to their content moderation decisions. Although Facebook says the board - dubbed Facebook's "Supreme Court" - is independent, the company has final discretion in deciding whether each ruling will only apply to the particular post in question, or whether it will serve as precedent for decision-making on similar content.

Facebook's oversight body has already reviewed several cases since its creation in October and overturned the company's decision in five out of six cases so far. This is its first ruling related to the former president.

Trump, for his part, said he's planning to launch his own social media platform.

He also recently started a blog called From the Desk of Donald J. Trump where he posts statements and videos that users can then share on social media platforms.

"This system allows Trump to communicate with his followers," a source familiar with the blog told Fox News.

That said, Trump's allies privately believe Facebook is "essential" to whether he'll run for office again in 2024.

"Getting this account back is not only essential for his future political viability," an anonymous source close to Trump told Axios. "It would also be an undoing of an unjust act by a social-media company that made an ad hoc ruling to deplatform a sitting president."

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