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Facebook’s ‘Oversight Board’ Will Determine Trump’s Fate on the Platform

Decision to ban Trump earlier this month was “necessary and right,” VP Nick Clegg says

Facebook on Thursday said the company’s recently established “oversight board” will determine Donald Trump’s future on the platform following the former president’s “indefinite” ban in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

In a Thursday blog post, Facebook VP Nick Clegg, said the decision to suspend Trump’s account was made under “extraordinary circumstances,” with a “president actively fomenting a violent insurrection designed to thwart the peaceful transition of power.” This was an “unprecedented set of events which called for unprecedented action,” Clegg said. Moving forward, Trump will remain banned from Facebook and Instagram until the oversight board has weighed in, Clegg added.

Facebook has committed $130 million to its oversight board, which was set up to give the final verdicts on big censorship decisions made by the company. The board’s 20 members were selected last May and started making decisions in October; its decisions, according to Facebook, are final and cannot be overturned by CEO Mark Zuckerberg or any other executives.

The social network initially removed Trump from both Facebook and Instagram on Jan. 7, one day after Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol — an event that ultimately led to five people dying.

“We believe our decision [to ban Trump] was necessary and right,” Clegg said. “Given its significance, we think it is important for the board to review it and reach an independent judgment on whether it should be upheld. While we await the board’s decision, Mr. Trump’s access will remain suspended indefinitely.”

Clegg did not say how long it will take for the board to decide on Trump’s ban, but said that “given the clear justification for our actions on January 7, that it will uphold the choices we made.”