Facebook is expected to announce soon whether it will allow Donald Trump to return to the platform after banning him more than a month ago.
The decision will be the largest ever made by Facebook’s Supervisory Board, a 20-member group that ranges from humanitarian activists and religious experts to lawyers and a former prime minister. The council, which launched in late 2020, is meant to function as an independent arm of the social platform, making binding decisions on a selection of its thorniest content moderation issues.
The debate over the former presidents account garnered a record 9,000 comments ahead of the ruling, which could be announced as early as this week.
Trump was dismissed from his post on Jan.7 after encouraging an insurgency on the U.S. Capitol the day before, but for years he had used his Facebook account to share misinformation and violent rhetoric with his millions of followers. Hundreds of civil rights activists submitted comments ahead of the decision, saying reinstating the Trumps account would once again allow these issues to flourish on the site.
Council must recognize that Trumps’ social media presence has made not only Facebook users, but the whole world less secure, wrote Change the Terms, a coalition of more than 60 human rights groups. He must act to defend the people we represent and not overturn Facebook’s decision on a process fault.
Former Facebook security chief Alex Stamos, who signed a letter with a number of other prominent voices urging Trump’s return, is another prominent voice in favor of a permanent ban on Trump.
The possible degradation of the Trumps accounts has helped defuse a dangerous and undemocratic situation, says the letter sent by a group of researchers and lawyers including Stamos. Trump’s actions justified the step of deforming him indefinitely.
Many groups have noted that Facebook’s problems of extremism and misinformation do not start and end with Trump. The platform must also improve its policies and the way they are implemented, said the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of more than 220 national organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Facebook’s suspension of Trump is a step in the right direction to counter the abuse of its platform, the coalition said. His account must be permanently suspended to stop the spread of his lies and to prevent any further incitement to violence.
In a letter, the coalition also called on Facebook to better enforce its policies on electoral integrity, voter interference and hate speech, and not to choose when it will apply its standards and remove deleting content faster. voters on the platform.
Others criticized the nature of the supervisory board and those appointed to it. A group of academics, advocates and activists, including those from the Color of Change and the Anti-Defamation League, have formed to criticize the board, calling themselves the Real Facebook Oversight Board. He said in a letter that Facebook should make its own decisions rather than outsourcing them to the board. He also called for stronger legislation to contain these problems.
We cannot trust Facebook to do this and [neither] they or a council appointed by them should not be allowed to make decisions like these, the advocacy group wrote. Real surveillance must be combined with other much-needed reforms: laws that change financial incentives for big tech, heavy regulation, and an account with the algorithms that ravage democratic society.
Trump was banned permanently from Twitter, apparently his favorite platform, in January. The Twitter company said the ban would be permanent even if Trump runs again. Facebook did not respond to a request for comment regarding when the Trump decision would be announced.
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