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Facebook refers Trump ban to Oversight Board

Facebook suspended former US President Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely after the capitol violence earlier this month.

Facebook has suspended Donald Trump's Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Facebook has suspended Donald Trump's Facebook and Instagram accounts. (REUTERS)

Facebook, earlier this month, suspended former US President Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely after the capitol violence. The company in its formal statement at the time had said that the decision had been made to ensure a peaceful transition of power in the White House. Now, nearly two weeks later Facebook announced that it was referring its decision to suspend Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely to its Oversight Board.

“Today, Facebook is referring its decision to indefinitely suspend former US President Donald Trump’s access to his Facebook and Instagram accounts to the independent Oversight Board,” Facebook’s VP of Global Affairs and Communications, Nick Clegg wrote in a blog post.

Clegg, while explaining the company’s move to ban the former US president from its platforms, said that the decision was “taken in extraordinary circumstances: a US president actively fomenting a violent insurrection designed to thwart the peaceful transition of power; five people killed; legislators fleeing the seat of democracy,” adding that those were ‘unprecedented set of events’ that called for an ‘unprecedented action’.

The Facebook VP also said that when it announced the suspension of Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, its ‘first priority was to assist in the peaceful transfer of power’. “We believe our decision was necessary and right,” he wrote.

Now, the company is referring its decision to the Oversight Board, an independent body comprising of experts and civic leaders that was established last year to help the company make decisions pertaining to some of the most difficult content on its platform. “Given its significance, we think it is important for the board to review it and reach an independent judgment on whether it should be upheld,” Clegg added.

While the company awaits the board’s decision, Trump’s access will remain suspended indefinitely. The decision will be available at the board’s website when it is issued.

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