The social network also requested recommendations from the board to develop a policy on suspensions when the affected user is a political leader.
Vice President of Global Affairs and Communications Nick clegg wrote Thursday in a newsroom article: “Our decision to suspend the access of then-President Trump was taken under extraordinary circumstances: a US president actively promoting a violent insurrection designed to thwart the peaceful transition of power; five people killed; lawmakers fleeing the seat of democracy. This has never happened before – and we hope it never happens again. It was a series of unprecedented events that called for unprecedented action.
Facebook said on Jan. 7 that it would indefinitely suspend Trump’s ability to post to Facebook and Instagram, at least until inauguration day, and the supervisory board wrote in a blog post Thursday: “The board surveillance closely followed events in the United States and on Facebook. their response, and the board is ready to provide a thorough and independent assessment of the company’s decision. “
Clegg wrote: “The reaction to our decision shows the delicate balance that private companies are being asked to strike. Some have said that Facebook should have banned President Trump a long time ago and that the violence on Capitol Hill was itself the product of social media; others that it was an unacceptable display of irresponsible corporate power over political discourse. We felt that in open democracies, people have the right to hear what their politicians say – the good, the bad and the ugly – so that they can be held accountable. But that never meant that politicians can say whatever they want. They remain subject to our policies prohibiting the use of our platform to incite violence. These are the policies that were applied when we made the decision to suspend President Trump’s access.
A group calling itself the True Facebook supervisory board, which was created last September by staunch critics of the social network, including representatives of major civil rights groups like the Anti-Defamation League and the NAACP, criticized the company for waiting so long to act.
The group said in a statement Thursday: “Facebook has failed for months to take action against Donald Trump’s repeated use of his platform to incite violence, spread disinformation and systematic attempts to overturn the election. His abject failure to act undoubtedly played a role in the violent events that unfolded on Capitol Hill on January 6. American democracy has survived despite Facebook.
The Real Facebook Oversight Board continued, “Facebook has absolutely not acknowledged its role in these events. Moreover, its leaders were encouraged to act against Trump only after the Democrats’ victory in the Senate was secured. It took a coup attempt for Facebook to seize on this matter. We fear that Facebook is using its supervisory board like a fig leaf to cover up its lack of open, transparent and consistent moderation policies, its continued failure to act against the instigators of hatred and violence, and the tsunami of disinformation and misinformation. disinformation that continues to flood its Platform. “
The board said its decision will be binding, and Facebook has pledged not to restore Trump’s access to its accounts unless instructed to do so by the decision.
The company should also consider any policy recommendations that the board of directors may make and respond to them publicly.