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05th May 2021

Donald Trump will not be allowed back on Facebook or Instagram

Charlie Herbert


The board said Facebook was “justified in suspending Mr Trump’s accounts”

Facebook’s quasi-independent Oversight Board has upheld Donald Trump’s ban from the platform after the US Capitol riots in January 6.

It’s a huge blow to Trump’s hopes of posting again on Facebook or Instagram anytime soon, and may set a significant precedent in how other social media platforms such as Twitter decide to treat political leaders and figures in the future.

The Oversight Board was set up by Facebook as a kind of “supreme court” that could hear appeals from users such as Trump who have had posts removed or want to challenge sensitive or controversial moderation decisions.

The board said, per NBC News: “Given the seriousness of the violations and the ongoing risk of violence, Facebook was justified in suspending Mr. Trump’s accounts on January 6 and extending that suspension on January 7.”

It went on to say that Trump had “created an environment where a serious risk of violence was possible” as he maintained that the 2020 presidential election was won fraudulently.

The decision to maintain his ban was based on two posts in particular from January 6. The first saw Trump telling rioters “We love you. You’re very special,” whilst in the second he called them “great patriots” and said they should “remember this day forever.”

The board did however say that it was not appropriate for Facebook to vary from their normal procedures when they banned Trump indefinitely. The board said that normal penalties from Facebook include removing posts, imposing a limited suspension or permanently disabling an account, and that “as Facebook suspended Mr. Trump’s accounts ‘indefinitely,’ the company must reassess this penalty.”

After the scandalous scenes at the Capitol in January, Trump also had his account on his favourite platform, Twitter, suspended. In February, the social media giant’s chief financial officer confirmed that this was a permanent ban.