Regardless of the outcome, decisions made by social networks may cause strong repercussions
Former President Donald Trump will find out if he can return to Facebook on Wednesday, when the social network’s semi-independent board of supervisors plans to announce its decision on the notorious case.
Regardless of the outcome, this decision may cause strong repercussions. If the board of directors rules in Trump’s favor, Facebook will have 7 days to restore his account. If he approves Facebook’s decision, Trump will “suspend indefinitely.” This means that it will continue to be banned by the platform until Facebook deems it appropriate.
Here is how the process works and what might happen after the announcement on Wednesday:
Why did Facebook suspend the Ace account?
Trump’s Facebook account was suspended for inciting violence, which triggered a deadly riot in the Federal Capitol on January 6. After years of Trump’s inflammatory remarks, Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram cancelled their accounts on January 7, stating that they would be suspended at that time until “at least” until the end of their term, until January 20 .
In a short video posted on his social media account, Trump urged supporters to “go home” while repeating false accusations of the integrity of the presidential election.
After Trump was banned from Twitter, Facebook did so. Trump is his favorite place to attract millions of followers on social media.
What is a supervisory committee and how does it make decisions?
Facebook created an oversight group to rule on sensitive content on its platform. It was created in response to widespread criticism that companies cannot respond quickly and effectively to false information and hate speech. Facebook said that it should not become the last word on major issues such as content and speech control.
The 20 members of the board will eventually reach 40, including the former prime minister of Denmark, the former editor-in-chief of The Guardian, as well as jurists, human rights experts and journalists.
The first four members of the board of directors are directly elected by Facebook. Later, these four people cooperated with Facebook to select other members. The social network pays each member’s salary through an “independent consortium.”
Critics question the independence of the committee. They say this is part of Facebook’s public relations campaign, which aims to divert attention from the more serious problems of hatred and misinformation that persist on its platform.
Like the Supreme Court, the committee’s decision on the case is binding. You can also make other non-binding suggestions, but Facebook has expressed its willingness to consider these suggestions.
What are the previous cases?
Facebook regularly deletes thousands of posts and accounts, and since its establishment in October, about 150,000 cases have been appealed to the supervisory committee. The committee has stated that it will give priority to reviewing cases that may affect many users around the world. So far, in the face of content restrictions, their decision has chosen freedom of speech.
Is there any special treatment for Ace from Facebook?
Until the January riots, Facebook and other social media platforms largely treated Trump with Trump’s silk gloves. Although he has a history of spreading false information and inciting hatred, it eventually led to his suspension due to violence. Even Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (Mark Zuckerberg) admits this.
If your account is restored, can you remortgage it?
Yes, the oversight committee will only decide on Trump’s “indefinite suspension” in January. If your account is restored, you will be subject to the same rules as any other user. And since you are no longer the president, you will not get the exemptions previously granted to you.
What does this mean for other politicians?
Some human rights defenders and other critics have come under fire on Facebook and other social networks because even if they vetoed Trump, they failed to expel the authoritarian world leader from their platforms. Although the company has restricted the accounts of other leaders in the past, Trump is the most high-profile politician who has been suspended for a long time.
Politicians, activists, and free speech defenders pay close attention to Trump’s case because it may affect the way social networks treat other politicians in the future. The supervisory committee can make other suggestions to Facebook on how to respond to political speech and world leaders.