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Will Donald Trump ever be allowed back on Facebook? After Oversight Board rules, we still don’t know

For now, the former president is still suspended, but the ball is back in Facebook’s court.

Will Donald Trump ever be allowed back on Facebook? After Oversight Board rules, we still don’t know
[Photo: Shealah Craighead/The White House/Flickr]
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Four months after Donald Trump was indefinitely suspended from Facebook in the wake of comments he’d posted during the January 6 insurrection, the website’s independent Oversight Board has ruled on whether that action was appropriate.

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But if you were hoping for a clear answer to whether the former president will ever be allowed back on to the world’s largest social network, you’re out of luck for now.

The board—a group funded by Facebook but run independently—agreed that Facebook’s acted appropriately by suspending Trump, but it said that suspension should not be indefinite.

Here’s the key section from the board’s reasoning:

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[It] was not appropriate for Facebook to impose the indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension. Facebook’s normal penalties include removing the violating content, imposing a time-bound period of suspension, or permanently disabling the page and account.

The Board insists that Facebook review this matter to determine and justify a proportionate response that is consistent with the rules that are applied to other users of its platform. Facebook must complete its review of this matter within six months of the date of this decision.

In other words, the ball is back in Facebook’s court—again.

Reached for comment, a Facebook spokesperson referred Fast Company to an online statement, but offered no timeline about when a final decision will be made regarding Trump. “We will now consider the board’s decision and determine an action that is clear and proportionate,” the statement read. “In the meantime, Mr. Trump’s accounts remain suspended.”

The hashtag #DeleteFacebook was trending on Twitter earlier Wednesday in anticipation of the board’s decision.

About the author

Christopher Zara is a senior staff news editor for Fast Company and obsessed with media, technology, business, culture, and theater. Before coming to FastCo News, he was a deputy editor at International Business Times, a theater critic for Newsweek, and managing editor of Show Business magazine

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