Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Trump begs Facebook to restore suspended accounts

Former U.S. President Donald Trump has appealed his suspension by social media giant Facebook, both on Facebook and Instagram.

Trump lodged the appeal with Facebook Oversight Board, co-chaired by former Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt.

But, his appeal will not be considered, until about 10 weeks time.

Trump was suspended indefinitely by Facebook in January, following his serial breaching of the platform’s rules. Twitter banned him permanently.

He was then posting falsehoods that he won the 3 November 2020 election by a landslide, whereas the truth was that he lost by a landslide.

Some of the posts also supported the insurrectionists who stormed the U.S. Capitol on 6 January, for which he was impeached by the House of Representatives.

“We can confirm that a user statement has been received in the case before the Oversight Board concerning President Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts,” a spokesperson for the Oversight Board said in a statement.

‘We have decided that we are going to take this case,’ Thorning-Schmidt said on Tuesday in an interview with UK’s Channel Four.

‘It’s a very high profile case but that is exactly why the Oversight Board was created in the first place.’

She added that they are inviting public feedback on the case for them to look at and they have ‘already received public comments in the thousands and thousands’.

‘One thing I think is quite good about how we deal with these things is not only does Facebook have a statement about why they did what they did. The user can also put in their statement about their opinion,’ she said.

‘A third thing that can happen is that we are open for public comments about this particular case. We’ve already received public comments in the thousands and thousands.’

Facebook announced in January that it asked the Oversight Board to review its decision to suspend Trump on Jan. 7, the day after a group of the president’s supporters stormed the Capitol.

The Trump ban is the most consequential case yet for the Oversight Board, carrying far-reaching political implications for the nation.

Facebook’s Oversight Board launched last year to review the toughest calls the company makes. It is supposed to function as an independent entity but gets financial backing and technical support from Facebook.

The Oversight Board has 90 days to make a decision, but a ruling is expected more quickly. Its decision is binding and cannot be overruled by CEO Mark Zuckerberg or any other Facebook executive.

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