Facebook was justified in banning then-President Donald Trump from its platform the day after the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, but it needs to reassess how long the ban will remain in effect, the social network’s quasi-independent Oversight Board said Wednesday.
The decision to uphold the ban is a blow to Trump’s hopes to post again to Facebook or Instagram anytime soon, but it opens the door to him eventually returning to the platforms. Facebook must complete a review of the length of the suspension within six months, the board said.
“Given the seriousness of the violations and the ongoing risk of violence, Facebook was justified in suspending Mr. Trump’s accounts on January 6 and extending that suspension on January 7,” the board said in its decision.
The board said that Trump “created an environment where a serious risk of violence was possible” by maintaining a narrative that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent.
The oversight board said, however, that it was not appropriate for Facebook to vary from its normal penalties when it made the ban indefinite. Facebook’s normal penalties include removing posts, imposing a limited suspension or permanently disabling an account, the board said.
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SOURCE: NBC News, David Ingram