Donald Trump remains banned from posting on Facebook, the company’s independent content oversight board ruled, extending the former U.S. president’s exile from the largest social network.
Facebook Inc. suspended Trump’s account after he encouraged his supporters to march on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in what became a deadly attempt to stop the counting of Electoral College votes for President Joe Biden.
The board’s decision announced Wednesday is binding, but it also recommended that Facebook review its ban within six months. Trump remains banned on Twitter Inc.
“As we stated in January, we believe our decision was necessary and right, and we’re pleased the board has recognized that the unprecedented circumstances justified the exceptional measure we took,” Facebook said in a blog post.
The Facebook Oversight Board argued Wednesday that Trump’s repeated claims of voter fraud created an environment “where a serious risk of violence was possible.”
“At the time of Mr. Trump’s posts, there was a clear, immediate risk of harm and his words of support for those involved in the riots legitimized their violent actions,” the board wrote. “As president, Mr. Trump had a high level of influence.”
In the meantime, Mr Trump, who is also banned from Twitter, launched a new website on Tuesday to update supporters with his thoughts.
Following the ruling, Mr Trump wrote that “what Facebook, Twitter, and Google have done is a total disgrace”.
“Free speech has been taken away from the President of the United States because the radical left lunatics are afraid of the truth,” he said, referring to himself as president.
“The people of our country will not stand for it! These corrupt social media companies must pay a political price, and must never again be allowed to destroy and decimate our electoral process,” he said.