The Facebook and Instagram accounts of former US President Donald Trump have remained suspended after a decision by the Oversight Board.
The Facebook and Instagram accounts of former US President Donald Trump remain suspended after a decision by the company's Oversight Board.
In a statement, the Board upheld Facebook’s decision to restrict Trump from posting content on his Facebook page and Instagram account.
But it said that the social network must reassess suspending Trump for an indefinite period.
"It was not appropriate for Facebook to impose the indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension," the Board said
"The Board insists that Facebook review this matter to determine and justify a proportionate response that is consistent with the rules that are applied to other users of its platform."
"Facebook must complete its review of this matter within six months of the date of this decision."
The former US President was suspended from Facebook and Instagram on January 7 after violating the company's policies.
Trump published two posts that Facebook said "incited violence" on the day of the Capitol storming, an insurrection that resulted in the deaths of five people.
One of the posts was a video of Trump pushing false claims about election fraud and said his supporters were "very special". He also asked protesters to "go home" while expressing his understanding of their anger.
The second was a follow-up post. He was still in office at the time he was locked out of his official accounts.
Trump was initially suspended "indefinitely" from Facebook and Instagram until "a peaceful transition of power" was complete, but the question of whether he would be allowed back online was referred to the "independent judgment" of Facebook's semi-independent committee, the Oversight Board.
It makes consequential content moderation decisions for Facebook and Instagram platforms.
The external board is empowered to make binding rulings, which cannot be overturned by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Its 20 members include a former Danish prime minister, a former Guardian newspaper editor-in-chief as well as legal scholars, journalists and human rights experts.
Twitter had already permanently banned Trump following the deadly storming of the Capitol, citing an ongoing risk of violence and incitement.
Conservative voices have criticised the decisions made by social media networks over freedom of speech, while others have condemned them for not taking swifter action.
Trump and his allies repeatedly pushed false claims throughout the 2020 presidential election, claiming voter fraud had manipulated the outcome, undermining the democratic process.
"The time and focus on one individual means that the other numerous superspreaders of election misinformation are not being dealt with." Imran Ahmed, the Founding CEO of The Centre for Countering Digital Hate said.
"Facebook continues to allow anti-democratic lies to reach millions of people every day on its platform, 6 months after the Capitol Hill riots." Ahmed went onto say.
In March 2021 the former US president launched a new communications platform, taking the format of a blog.
He publishes frequent inaccurate posts, and users can like them or cross-platform share them onto Twitter and Facebook.
On 3 May 2021 Trump published a post pushing unfounded claims about voter fraud in the 2020 election:
"The Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020 will be, from this day forth, known as THE BIG LIE!" he wrote.