It’s not yet the end of the road for Donald Trump on social networks but for now, it is as new reports has it that the former US President will remain suspended on both Facebook and its sister service Instagram.
Remember back in January when his official account was banned over the US Capitol Hill riot. Trump also got banned from Twitter and some non-social media services over this issue which led to speculations that he might start his own social network service if he’s disallowed from the mainstream platforms available.
The major reason why he was suspended from these platforms is due to concerns that his online remarks might further incite violence following the deadly Capitol Hill riot.
There was a panel set up with the task of reviewing the social media’s content decisions as well as reviewing for how long Trump will be barred from using the service.
“It was not appropriate for Facebook to impose the indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension,” the board said in its decision, which was released on Wednesday. “The Board insists that Facebook review this matter to determine and justify a proportionate response that is consistent with the rules that are applied to other users of its platform.”
The board accused Facebook of seeking to “avoid its responsibilities” and gave it six months to complete the review.
“This penalty must be based on the gravity of the violation and the prospect of future harm,” the board said.
Trump on the other hand never made any comment on the matter and according to a statement submitted to the board on behalf of the 45th US President by the American Center for Law and Justice as well as a page administrator made it known that Trump’s remarks on Facebook over the Capitol Hill riot were “neither intended nor would be believed by any reasonable observer or listener to be a call for violent insurrection or lawlessness.”
Facebook said it’s reviewing how long Trump should remain suspended.
“We will now consider the board’s decision and determine an action that is clear and proportionate. In the meantime, Mr. Trump’s accounts remain suspended,” Facebook’s vice president of global affairs and communications, Nick Clegg, said in a blog post.
Other social media sites, including Google-owned YouTube and Snapchat, have also taken action against Trump. Twitter, the former president’s favored way to communicate with his fans, barred him permanently.
He had about 35 million followers on his Facebook page while on Instagram, the number is about 24 million.
As for Facebook, the company had been under pressure to crack down on Trump’s accounts over “fake news” and other rule violations which has led to some people thinking his presidential status might be an immunity he enjoys until the riot which led to his accounts being suspended.
One of Trump’s statement that landed him in trouble with the general public was his post during the protest that preceded the death off 46-yeas-old George Floyd.
The controversial statements made by the former president has also led to him being a target by Twitter especially during the months of the pandemic.
Social media companies typically avoid censoring political speech but have also repeatedly faced allegations that they’re biased against conservatives, which they deny.
The Capitol Hill riot seems to be the perfect justification to crack down his social media accounts when he made statements that his supporters should “fight like hell” and also stated that “we’re going to the Capitol”.
Facebook removed two posts from Trump that reiterated the baseless claims the 2020 election results were fraudulent, though he also told his supporters to go home. Trump lost the election to Democratic challenger and former Vice President Joe Biden.
All of this and accumulated policy violations over the years got him barred from Twitter and Facebook.
“Suspension periods should be long enough to deter misconduct and may, in appropriate cases, include account or page deletion,” the board said.