You are here: Home » Current Affairs » News » Et cetera
Business Standard

Oversight Board to examine Donald Trump's Facebook profile suspension

Facebook has also requested policy recommendations from the Board on suspensions when the user is a political leader, the Oversight Board said in a statement

Facebook | Donald Trump

Neha Alawadhi  |  New Delhi 

Donald, Melania Trump
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump stop to talk with the media as they walk to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington

The Oversight Board, constituted last year to examine content takedowns on the and Instagram, accepted a case referral from to examine their decision to indefinitely suspend former US President Donald Trump’s access to post content on and Instagram.

Facebook has also requested policy recommendations from the Board on suspensions when the user is a political leader, the Oversight Board said in a statement.

There are 20 global members of the Oversight Board, whose job is to examine content taken down from Facebook and Instagram. In due course, the board will also look at content removal requests in real time.

Facebook’s decision to suspend Trump’s access to post on Facebook and Instagram on January 7, 2021, has driven intense global interest.

ALSO READ: Parliament panel to question Facebook on WhatsApp's privacy terms: Report

"A decision by the Board on this case will be binding on Facebook, and determine whether Mr. Trump’s suspension from access to Facebook and Instagram for an indefinite amount of time is overturned. Facebook has committed not to restore access to its platforms unless directed by a decision of the Oversight Board. Facebook must consider any accompanying policy recommendations from the Board, and publicly respond to them," the Oversight Board statement added.

The Board was created to provide a critical independent check on Facebook’s approach to the most challenging content issues, which have enormous implications for global human rights and free expression.

Explaining how the Board will decide this case, the Oversight Board said "the case will be assigned to a five-member case review panel in accordance with our Bylaws and Rulebook. After the panel reaches a decision, its findings are shared with the entire Board. Sign-off by a majority of the Board is required for a case decision to be issued".

Members will decide whether the content involved in this case violated Facebook’s Community Standards and values. They will also consider whether Facebook’s removal of the content respected international human rights standards, including freedom of expression and other human rights.

ALSO READ: 'Just move on': Republicans enter post-Trump era in Democrat-held Senate

Mr. Trump, through his designated page administrators, will have the ability to submit a user statement to the Board explaining why he believes Facebook’s content moderation decisions should be overturned. Facebook will also share contextual information and a detailed explanation for their existing content decisions in this case. The Board will also open a process for all interested individuals and organizations to submit public comments to share any insights and perspectives with the Board that they believe will assist with making a decision.

The Board’s Bylaws set an outer limit of 90 days as the time within which it must make a decision. The case decision will be published on the Board's website and will present the key information used by the panel to reach a decision, along with an explanation on how the panel reached its final conclusions.

Following publication, Facebook will have up to seven days to implement the case decision. Facebook must also respond publicly to any policy recommendations the Board has made within its decision within 30 days.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Thu, January 21 2021. 23:15 IST