Facebook asked its independent supervisory board on Thursday to determine whether Donald Trump’s indefinite suspension from the platform was justified or not, two weeks after the Capitol riots and the California giant’s unprecedented decision.
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The council has agreed to take up this burning issue. Its members can approve the blocking of the account indefinitely, or force Facebook to let the Republican billionaire return.
“We believe our decision was necessary and fair. Given its scope, we believe it is important that the board review it and come to an independent judgment, ”said Nick Clegg, group vice president responsible for communications, in a statement.
Donald Trump’s profile will remain suspended until the council renders its decision, which can take up to 90 days.
Facebook is hoping that the council of the wise, which took office in early December, will agree with the controversial measure, “taken under extraordinary circumstances: a US president who fosters a violent insurgency to derail the peaceful transition of power; 5 people killed; legislators fleeing the seat of democracy, ”recalls Nick Clegg.
“It was an unprecedented series of events that demanded an unprecedented reaction.”
On January 6, hundreds of pro-Trump rioters, believing the U.S. election to be rigged, invaded Capitol Hill and disrupted Congress’ certification of Joe Biden’s victory.
Facebook, Twitter and other networks have suspended the Republican billionaire’s account indefinitely, who has been trying for months to discredit the poll and urged his fans to take action.
“The supervisory board was launched at the end of 2020 to deal with exactly the kind of crucial questions posed by this case,” the board reacted in a statement.
Often considered too lax in their moderation of content, Facebook and Twitter are this time criticized for their omnipotence in terms of freedom of expression.
Jack Dorsey, the boss of Twitter, himself admitted last week that the measure was a potentially “dangerous” “precedent”.
“Facebook is also hoping for observations or recommendations from the council on the suspensions of accounts of political leaders,” said Nick Clegg.
The project of a sort of “Supreme Court”, having the last word on controversial content on Facebook and Instagram, was announced at the end of 2019 by Mark Zuckerberg.
It is responsible for evaluating the platform’s decisions on certain content deemed problematic, in particular those which have global consequences in terms of human rights and freedom of expression.
Its recommendations are binding.