After winning millions of followers and becoming one of the most effective politicians at using social media, Donald Trump has remained silent – and so he must continue, at least temporarily. Facebook’s supervisory committee decided on Wednesday (5) to maintain the ban on the former US president’s account from its platforms, but will reconsider this decision in the coming months.
The first veto came in January, after Republican supporters invaded the U.S. Congress, when major tech companies one by one began banning or limiting Trump’s use of social media. In general, the rationale was that, through his narratives, the ex-president incited and glorified violence, violating the rules for using platforms.
At the time, the decision sparked a broad debate over free speech and internet censorship, and a definitive ban on Facebook will have significant implications for both US policy and possible network regulations. social. The deliberation will also indicate how the social network will deal with rule violations by other world leaders.
In January, shortly after announcing the indefinite ban on Trump’s account, Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg asked the company’s content oversight board to review the decision, resulting in the verdict on the continuation. whether or not to ban an external expert panel.
Zuckerberg created the independent committee, made up of academics, lawyers and academics, in 2018. While on the one hand he was accused of being slow to act against the spread of false news, on the other, mainly by far-right movements, he was accused of censorship.
In Trump’s case, the board created a panel of five board members – with at least one American, although the identity of the participants was not disclosed – to verify whether the veto complied with social media rules and the principles of human rights and freedom of expression. The final decision, however, must be approved by the company’s board of directors, which is made up of 30 people.
Before being suspended, the former president had around 88 million followers on Twitter and 35 million on Facebook. Social media was not only his main form of communication with his supporters, but also the platform through which he announced important decisions of his government.
The Republican even blocked users who criticized him on Twitter, in a case that ended up in court. In 2019, a court ruled that because Trump used social media to conduct government business, he couldn’t stop Americans from reading his posts – or participating in debates about the posts.
In 2020, Facebook and Twitter began including warnings in some of the former president’s posts, based on bogus claims that mailed ballots would result in fraudulent elections and offenses against Black protesters. Lives Matter (black lives matter).
The most assertive actions, however, came after the attack on Congress. Two days after the invasion, Twitter permanently banned Trump’s social media account – anyone who accesses the former president’s page won’t even find their profile picture. Today, the account doesn’t even appear in searches.
Following the blockade, Trump attempted to post to the @POTUS account (acronym for US president), but the social network deleted the posts. In the posts, he said Twitter is working to ban free speech and criticized section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which gives platforms immunity from content shared by users. and protects them from prosecution.
On a related note, YouTube announced the ban on the Trump channel about a week after the attack on the seat of the US Legislative Assembly. In March, Alphabet, owner of Google and the video platform, said the Republican channel would only return to air when the company determines that the risk of “real-world” violence has decreased. Likewise, the social game streaming network Twitch, acquired by Amazon in 2014, also announced the indefinite ban on the former president’s account. Snapchat, meanwhile, has permanently blocked the Republican.
In another move to try to reduce the scope of conspiratorial rhetoric, which also spurred the invasion of Congress, Google, Amazon and Apple announced that the Talking social media app would be suspended from their online stores – the platform. -least restrictive form was a port. safe for extremists after Facebook blocks conspiracy theories.
On February 15, however, Parler returned to the airwaves and, in a statement, said the new platform uses “independent and sustainable technology,” so it is no longer dependent on the servers of the tech giants. According to the New York Times, Talking has become one of the fastest growing apps after platforms started tagging messages from the former president.