WASHINGTON: In a significant development, the independent Oversight Board on Wednesday upheld Facebook's decision on January 7 to suspend then US President Donald Trump from its main platform and Instagram. The Board found that Trump's posts severely violated Facebook's rules, and his words of support for those involved in the attack on the US Capitol building legitimised violence in a situation where there was an immediate risk to people's lives.
While the Board concluded that Trump should have been suspended from Facebook and Instagram, it also found that Facebook failed to impose a proper penalty. The decision came as the former US President launched a new so-called social media platform, which is actually a WordPress blog on his own website.
"President Trump's actions on social media encouraged and legitimised violence and were a severe violation of Facebook's rules," said Thomas Hughes, Director of the Oversight Board Administration.
"By maintaining an unfounded narrative of electoral fraud and persistent calls to action, Mr Trump created an environment where a serious risk of violence was possible. Facebook's decision to suspend the President on January 7 was the right one," Hughes added.
However, it said that instead of applying one of its established account-level penalties for severe violations, Facebook devised an "indefinite" suspension which is not included in their content policies. (IANS)