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Facebook Oversight Board Considers banning Trump Accounts Once


Facebook announced Thursday that the company's independent oversight board will review the decision to permanently suspend former U.S. President Donald Trump's Instagram and Facebook accounts.

Trump's media accounts were blanket shortly after the January 6 storming of the Capitol. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on January 7 that freezing Trump's Facebook account would be "indefinitely and for at least two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete."

Now, two weeks later, Facebook is asking the Independent Oversight Board to determine whether Trump's accounts should be permanently suspended. It will also decide whether Facebook's conduct violated "international human rights standards," according to a press release issued by the Censorship Board.

Facebook has in the past taken action against the former president's publications, but this is the first time the Oversight Board has reviewed the issue.

The Board has up to 90 days to make its decision, and no Facebook employee can overturn his final ruling, including Zuckerberg. If the board decides to re-account Trump, Facebook will have seven days to do so.

The newly established Independent Council was established for the first time in October 2020 to serve as the "Supreme Court" of the communication company in relation to the most complex content decisions.

Many cases have been reviewed by this emerging 20-member council, which consists of academics, former politicians, and activists from around the world, including Nobel Laureate Tokel Karman.

The former U.S. president criticized the council's earlier establishment, noting that it censored the freedom of others to express their opinions, and the presence of Karman in his membership.

However, some experts are concerned about the Oversight Board because it allows Facebook to "outsource" the implementation of controversial decisions while maintaining its own policies.

Trump will not be allowed access to his Instagram or Facebook accounts until the council makes its decision. During this time, Trump page officials can make a statement in his favor, according to a press release from the Oversight Board.

Nick Clegg, Facebook's vice president for global affairs and communications, said in a press release that Facebook hopes the oversight board will continue its original decision to ban Trump.

Facebook will also ask the Independent Oversight Board to make any recommendations on how to address the political leader's account freeze.

"We believe that our decision to ban Trump's accounts was necessary and correct," Clegg said in the press release, adding, "Given its importance, we believe it is important for the Board to review it and reach an independent judgment on whether it should be supported."