Facebook refers its decision to suspend Donald Trump’s account to its independent supervisory board for review, in the first major test of its new “Supreme Court” appeal body.
The social media platform was suspended earlier this month Mr. Trump’s story “indefinitely” fearing he could use it to incite further violence following the assault on the U.S. Capitol earlier this month.
Nick Clegg, head of global affairs for Facebook, said in a blog post Thursday that the suspension was “necessary and fair”.
But he added: “Given its importance, we believe it is important for the council to review it and decide independently on whether it should continue.
Facebook would also encourage board recommendations more generally “around suspensions when the user is a political leader,” he said. Mr. Trump’s access to his account will remain suspended during deliberations.
the independent monitoring body was formed by Facebook to make decisions about the fairness of its content moderation decisions and policies, with the prospect of tighter regulation from lawmakers if it can’t control itself better.
All decisions made by the body – which is made up of academics, civil rights groups and experts from all political backgrounds – are binding. He started accepting cases in December.
Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg was part of the team that made the decision to send the Trump case back to the board, a person familiar with the situation said.
As part of the process, Mr. Trump would be able to submit a “user statement” to the board explaining why he thinks the decision should be overturned. Facebook would be required to provide context on how and why they arrived at the decision, and there would also be a period during which the public could send comments, the board said.
The board’s rules allow a 90-day window to decide on a case and an additional week for Facebook to take action.
Decisions by Facebook and other social media companies to block Mr. Trump from posting posts raised fears of the power accumulated in the hands of a handful of private Silicon Valley companies and sparked a debate over the ‘balance between their right to censor breaking the rules. users and allowing freedom of expression.
A clear board position could also exempt Mr. Zuckerberg from having to decide whether to follow twitter by permanently banning Mr. Trump – a move civil rights groups have sought.
“Whether you think the decision was justified or not, many people are understandably uncomfortable with the idea that tech companies have the power to ban elected leaders,” said Clegg. “We agree… This is why we created the Supervisory Board.”
Separately on Thursday, a sign of the riot’s lingering fallout for social media groups, Carolyn Maloney, chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, called on the FBI to investigate the role of Parler, the social media platform of “freedom of expression”. loved by the far right, played by facilitating the organization of violent events.
Talking was forced offline in the wake of the riots that followed Amazon’s withdrawal from its web hosting services. Ms Maloney also urged the FBI to explore the platform’s “ties to Russia, given that the company has reappeared on [a] Russian hosting service ”.