STATEMENT: Change the Terms coalition on Facebook Oversight Board’s Decision to Reject Facebook’s Indefinite Suspension of Former President Trump From the Platform
May 5, 2021
Contact: Claudia Montecinos, firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, D.C. — Today, the Facebook Oversight Board announced its decision to reject Facebook’s indefinite suspension of former President Trump from the platform and instead recommend a maximum of six months to either permanently disable Trump’s account or impose a new suspension for a specific period of time.
President Donald Trump was banned from the platform following the deadly insurrection and assault on the Capitol building on January 6, 2021. The Facebook Oversight Board is an independent body and Facebook has committed to abiding by its decisions — and that includes CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.
In response, Heidi Beirich, co-chair of Change the Terms Coalition and co-founder of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, issued the following statement:
“The Facebook Oversight Board found that the suspension of Donald Trump was a necessary step to protect public safety. However, in kicking the future of Trump’s account back to Facebook, the Board has again opened the door for Trump to continue his behavior in the future. Facebook should immediately make this indefinite suspension permanent, rather than waiting the six months allowed.
“Trump’s big lie that the election was stolen, magnified over and over again on Facebook, incited his supporters’ storming of the Capitol. Facebook should never have allowed its platform to be abused by Trump and the people who planned the attack. They knew how dangerous his vitriol was, and suspending Trump was a long-overdue move.
“This decision also has implications well beyond Trump. It sends a clear and necessary message to extremist politicians around the world who have used Facebook and other forms of social media to gain power and undermine democracies. It isn’t just Trump: Facebook has a moral obligation to ensure that its platform is not a place where hateful activities and extremism can grow and where democracies are undermined.”
Change the Terms is a coalition calling on Big Tech to institute and enforce service agreement prohibitions on hateful activities to protect public safety and respect diverse voices. The coalition includes more than 60 civil rights, human rights, technology policy and consumer protection organizations dedicated to encouraging social media