Facebook says it will uphold Trump ban
Updated 22:29, 05-May-2021

Facebook on Wednesday said it will not allow former U.S. President Donald Trump back onto the platform – for now. 

The social network's quasi-independent Oversight Board voted to uphold his ban from the platform after his account was suspended four months ago for inciting violence that led to the deadly January 6 Capitol riot.

While upholding the suspension, the board faulted Facebook for the way it made the decision.

The board said the ongoing risk of serious violence justified Facebook's suspension at the time, but said it "was not appropriate for Facebook to impose an 'indefinite' suspension."

The board said Facebook was seeking to avoid its responsibilities by applying "a vague, standardless penalty" and then referring the case to the board to resolve.

The board agreed with Facebook that two of Trump's January 6 posts "severely violated" the content standards of both Facebook and Instagram.

"We love you. You're very special," he said in the first post, and "great patriots" and "remember this day forever" in the second. Those violated Facebook's rules against praising or supporting people engaged in violence, the board said.

The board said Facebook has six months to reexamine the "arbitrary penalty" it imposed on January 7 and decide on another penalty that reflects the "gravity of the violation and the prospect of future harm."

It said the new penalty must be "clear, necessary and proportionate" and consistent with Facebook's rules for severe violations. In addition, if Facebook decides to restore Trump's accounts, the company must be able to promptly address further violations.

A Trump spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump has also been permanently banned from Twitter.

(With input from AP)

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