Civil Rights Leaders React After Fb Upholds Trump Ban

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E.Earlier this year, the world breathed a sigh of relief after Trump was banned from numerous social media platforms, starting with Twitter, followed by Facebook and YouTube.

The final straw came from Trump’s consistent violent language that eventually helped steer action towards the January 6 uprising in the U.S. Capitol.

On Wednesday, Facebook’s 20-strong Oversight Board ruled that the social networking app was allowed to ban the former president indefinitely, but must set parameters for how long the ban will last, according to the Washington Post. In six months, Facebook will have to conduct a review of the duration of the suspension.

“Given the severity of the violations and the continuing risk of violence, Facebook was entitled to suspend Mr. Trump’s accounts on January 6th and to extend this suspension on January 7th,” the board said in its decision.

The board also noted that Trump “created an environment where there is a serious risk of violence” by encouraging people who disagreed with the electoral process to take action. The leaders also signaled that Facebook has taken steps outside of its normal parameters to determine how global leaders or those in power are reprimanded on the social network. The network exempts political figures from some rules on hate speech on the grounds that the comments could be considered timely.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the House's financial services committee

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In the past, Facebook removed posts in these situations, specified the length of time for a ban, or permanently disabled an account entirely.

However, several civil rights activists argue that Facebook should take a final stand if Trump has access to a communication tool he has used to promote violence and chaos. Those responsible argued that Facebook’s decision could also take precedence over other platforms that Trump is currently prohibited from using.

“If Trump gets back on the platform, he will have access to his bullying pulpit again to ignite the flames of white nationalism and instigate violence against black communities and our allies,” Rashad Robinson, President of Color of Change, told NewsOne . “Technical giants like Facebook can’t rely on them to regulate themselves. Facebook has failed several times in this regard and will continue to allow white nationalists to use the platform to organize and spread lies and wage violence against blacks until the business model no longer creates an incentive for profit hatred. This decision is further evidence of the urgent need for Congress and the Biden Harris administration to create new rules for governance in Facebook’s stronghold for our democracy. Color Of Change will continue to use our millions of members to hold Facebook accountable and demand that they permanently ban Trump from the platform. “

“Crucially, the decision doesn’t solve any of the fundamental problems with Facebook’s disastrous handling of hateful and violent speech on their platform,” Amnesty International said. “The Oversight Board’s decisions only apply to specific cases – and while it may make recommendations, it lacks the power to change Facebook’s overall approach to such content, particularly the inconsistent application of its Terms of Use around the world.”

“In its decision today, the Facebook Oversight Board made many of the same mistakes Facebook made in its own enforcement decisions,” said David Brody, who leads the digital justice initiative on the Civil Rights Advocate Committee under the law. “It did not evaluate the full context of the case and used legal techniques to avoid answering difficult questions. For example, it ignored Trump’s repeated use of Facebook to inflame hatred and racism or his long history of spreading divisive lies and disinformation before the 2020 election. Excessive reliance on formalistic schools of legal analysis anchors dominant power structures by ignoring the big picture. “

Other civil rights groups believed the decision was a step in the right direction.

“We are encouraged by the Oversight Board’s decision to temporarily maintain the platform’s prior suspension,” the NAACP Legal Defense Fund said in a statement. “We also believe the evidence supports Mr. Trump’s permanent ban. He has shown that he is unwilling and unable to use the platform in line with Facebook’s community standards. Just a few days ago, Mr Trump reiterated the same false claims about the 2020 presidential election that sparked the January 6 uprising. We hope that following the review requested by the Oversight Board, Facebook will continue its permanent ban on Mr. Trump. “

Not having his preferred tool, Trump released a statement to the press condemning the board’s decision.

“Free speech has been taken from the President of the United States because radical left-wing madmen are afraid of the truth, but the truth will come out anyway, bigger and stronger than ever,” said Trump’s statement. “The people of our country will not stand for it! These corrupt social media companies have to pay a political price and must never again destroy or decimate our electoral process. “


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