Disgraced former President Donald Trump will remain suspended from Facebook for the time being after the social network’s oversight board upheld the decision on Wednesday.
The platform suspended Trump indefinitely after he incited an insurrection at the Capitol in an attempt to overthrow democracy. Hundreds of his supporters have been arrested and face severe charges stemming from their actions on January 6th, but Trump continues to push lies about the 2020 election. And that’s a big reason why Facebook’s oversight board upheld his suspension.
“Given the seriousness of the violations and the ongoing risk of violence, Facebook was justified in suspending Mr. Trump’s accounts on January 6 and extending that suspension on January 7,” the board said according to NBC News.
The board said that Trump “created an environment where a serious risk of violence was possible” by maintaining a narrative that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent.
“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 said.
Trump held a rally near the Capitol that day and inflamed the crowd, which then proceeded to march to the Capitol building and stormed it in an effort to prevent the certification of the election results. Many of the insurrectionists even plotted to assassinate lawmakers.
Twitter immediately responded by permanently banning Trump, with Facebook and other social media platforms following suit in order to prevent him from inciting further violence.
Facebook’s suspension, however, is merely indefinite, so the oversight board advised reevaluating the decision in six months because Facebook punishments don’t include such a suspension. That means Facebook needs to permanently ban Trump just as Twitter did or reinstate him and risk severe backlash from the public and a resumption of lies, bullying, and violent rhetoric being spewed on their platform that could result in bloodshed.
For now, Trump remains suspended, which means his potential campaigning for 2024 has already suffered a setback, which is a good thing because our political discourse would only get worse if he’s allowed to pick up where he left off.
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