A Facebook representative said in a statement Thursday that it is reviewing its decision to revoke President Donald Trump’s access to Facebook after he was barred from using the platform two weeks ago.
Facebook, like a number of other social media platforms, blacklisted Trump due to concerns that his posts were inciting violence following the riots at the US Capitol on Jan. 6.
Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs, said Thursday that he believes Facebook made the right call, but the company is leaning on an independent oversight board to review the decision. Clegg said that the board was created last year to review Facebook’s content decisions. Clegg says the decision of the board cannot be overturned by anyone at Facebook, including CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
“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,” Clegg said. “While we await the board’s decision, Mr. Trump’s access will remain suspended indefinitely. We look forward to receiving the board’s decision — and we hope, given the clear justification for our actions on January 7, that it will uphold the choices we made.”
Like Clegg, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey believes banning Trump from social media was the right decision, but also is concerned about the precedent it sets.
“I believe this was the right decision for Twitter. We faced an extraordinary and untenable circumstance, forcing us to focus all of our actions on public safety. Offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all,” Dorsey said. “That said, having to ban an account has real and significant ramifications. While there are clear and obvious exceptions, I feel a ban is a failure of ours ultimately to promote healthy conversation. And a time for us to reflect on our operations and the environment around us.”
Trump has railed against social media companies for the bans.
“Only if we forget who we are and how we got here could we allow political censorship and blacklisting to take place in America,” Trump said in one of his final statement to America as president on Tuesday. "It's not even thinkable shutting down free and open debate violates our core values and most enduring traditions."