Facebook can keep blocking former President Donald Trump from using its platform, the social network's court-like Oversight Board said Wednesday in a landmark move that affirmed the company's decision to issue the suspension after the January 6 US Capitol riots.
The board said it concluded that Trump's posts on January 6, which praised the rioters, "severely violated" Facebook's policies and "created an environment where a serious risk of violence was possible."
However, the board criticized Facebook for having made the suspension indefinite and said Facebook must review the decision and impose disciplinary actions such as a "time-bound period of suspension" or permanently disabling the account — sanctions consistent with Facebook's policies.
"Within six months of this decision, Facebook must reexamine the arbitrary penalty it imposed on January 7 and decide the appropriate penalty," the board wrote in its decision. "This penalty must be based on the gravity of the violation and the prospect of future harm. It must also be consistent with Facebook's rules for severe violations, which must, in turn, be clear, necessary and proportionate."
"In applying a vague, standardless penalty and then referring this case to the Board to resolve, Facebook seeks to avoid its responsibilities," the decision said.
The decision also applies to Facebook-owned Instagram where Trump has an account. Trump has almost 60 million followers across Facebook (FB) and Instagram.
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