Donald Trump was suspended from Facebook and Instagram “indefinitely” back in January, and now the social media network has confirmed his suspension will be upheld.
Facebook’s Oversight Board consists of journalists, activists, and lawyers, who all came together on Wednesday to rule that Trump will remain banned. The board often comes together to discuss any content decisions of the company, and they determined Facebook was “justified” in banning the former president after he used the platform to encourage his followers to “fight” to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Prior to the events of the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, Trump had continually shared unfounded claims of election fraud. Trump’s indefinite ban was reviewed because the board believed Facebook should enact a “defined penalty.” He was similarly banned from Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, and Twitch earlier this year. Most of these bans have been upheld, although his YouTube account remains online and is restricted from posting new content.
"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 Facebook Oversight Board wrote, per Bloomberg. "As president, Mr. Trump had a high level of influence."
It is unclear how Trump’s lack of presence on social media will impact his chances in the 2024 election if he does, in fact, decide to run again.
The Republican members of the House judiciary committee called the decision to uphold the ban “pathetic” in a tweet.
As recently as March, Trump teased that he’s interested in starting his own social media platform.
“I'm doing things having to do with putting our own platform out there that you'll be hearing about soon,” Trump told Fox News in a podcast.
While a new social media platform would give Trump a soapbox again, it remains to be seen how successful any attempts to break out on his own will be.