Facebook´s Supervisory Board issues its decision on Trump´s account

Four months after the suspension of his account, will Donald Trump be able to return to using Facebook, the decision issued by the supervisory board of the social networking giant? It is highly anticipated as an important moment in the history of platforms and their political role.

"The board's logic can really help set the rules for Facebook and other digital networks about how to engage with political leaders and other personalities in the future," said Elizabeth Raines, director of the technology ethics department at the University of Notre Dame.

Facebook was banned from its platform by former US President Donald Trump, the day after his supporters stormed the Congress building in January during the endorsement session for Joe Biden's victory in the November 2020 presidential election.

Until then, the Californian group had tolerated many of the billionaire Republican messages deemed problematic by large sections of society, even within his own party.

However, on January 7, the network suspended "until further notice" the losing candidate's account for violating its rules of incitement to violence, especially following what was stated in a video tape in which he expressed support for rioters.

At the end of January, Facebook turned to its supervisory board to finally settle the issue.

The company funds up to $ 130 million from this council, which is considered an independent "supreme court" of 20 international members, including journalists, lawyers, human rights defenders and former political officials.

At the beginning of the year, it issued its first (binding) rulings and a series of recommendations (non-binding).

As for Donald Trump, after receiving 9,000 responses from users to a call for comment, the company gave itself some time. If you unfreeze the account, Facebook will have seven days to allow access to its account again.

Other platforms took similar measures after the capture of the Capitol.

YouTube is waiting for "the risks of violence to recede" before allowing the former president to post videos again on his platform.

Twitter - Trump's former favorite network with nearly 89 million followers - suspended his account permanently even though the network’s founder, Jack Dorsey, lamented "the failure to promote a healthy conversation."

The former US president found a haven in the Ghab network, as it declares its affiliation with the conservative movement and tends to conspiracy theories, where it is watched by two million people and continues to confirm that the presidential elections witnessed acts of fraud, but without providing evidence.

As for his advisor, Jason Miller, he promised that Trump would launch his own platform with "tens of millions of followers," but for now there was only a blog added to his site Tuesday with the same posts on Gap.

Trump supporters accuse Facebook of censorship. As for those in favor of maintaining the status quo, they argue that the suspension of the American billionaire's account should have occurred much earlier.

"He was using Facebook and other platforms to spread clearly false messages about the electoral processes, which very effectively undermined American democracy," says Samuel Woolley of the University of Texas Press Institute.

The researcher also referred to the repeated attacks against his critics, "which his followers consider as indications that they, too, can hunt and harass these people."

Trump's exclusion from social media has been welcomed by both elected Democrats and American civil society.

But in Europe, this decision drew criticism from associations and leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who expressed concern about the power of technology companies on freedom of expression.

"Whatever the ruling, we must be uncomfortable with the notion that decisions of this kind are taken by unelected and unaccountable companies and by inspectors who have chosen them," Elizabeth Raines concludes.


 

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