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BREAKING: Oversight Board upholds Trump’s Facebook suspension

Facebook’s independent Oversight Board has ruled in favor of upholding the platform’s suspension of former President Donald Trump’s account, AXIOS reports.

The decision sets a global precedent for how Facebook, and potentially other social media companies, will treat political leaders around the world.

The board found Trump’s posts had “severely violated” Facebook rules but questioned the “indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension” and “insisted” the company find a “proportionate response” within six months.

“It is not permissible for Facebook to keep a user off the platform for an undefined period, with no criteria for when or whether the account will be restored,” the board wrote.

Facebook, like Twitter, barred Trump for violating its rules in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, then referred the case to the board. While Twitter was President Trump’s chief online megaphone, Facebook was his most effective fundraising tool.

Facebook established and funded the Oversight Board to provide independent review when users appeal the company’s content moderation decisions.

Facebook has pledged to follow the board’s recommendations with regard to specific cases and to give consideration to the board’s broader policy recommendations.

Meanwhile, Twitter has shown no indication that it plans to review or reverse its decision to ban Trump, nor have other online platforms that took action against him after Jan. 6.

Trump, his allies, and conservatives have criticized the social media bans as censorship and advocated new laws to punish the companies involved and/or limit their power to set rules for expression on their platforms.

People around the former president have said he is weighing options for starting his own social media enterprise, and on Tuesday he launched a new website.

Facebook has 30 days to publicly respond to the Oversight Board’s decision and policy recommendations.

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