Facebook’s Oversight Board upholds Trump’s ban: CNBC’s Jon Fortt comments

By: Wajeeh Khan
Wajeeh Khan
Wajeeh is an active follower of world affairs, technology, an avid reader, and loves to play table tennis in… read more.
on May 6, 2021
  • Facebook's Oversight Board upheld Trump's ban from Instagram and FB.
  • The social media giant now has six months to decide on Trump's return.
  • FB shares are currently about 1% up in the stock market on Thursday.

Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) banned Donald Trump from two of its social platforms, Instagram and FB, following the Capitol Hill riots in January. Facebook’s Oversight Board upheld the decision on Wednesday but criticised the ban for being “permanent”. According to the Oversight Board:

“The initial verdict to indefinitely ban Donald Trump was indeterminate and standardless. The correct response should be consistent with the rules that are applied to other users of its platform.”

Facebook has six months to respond

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Co-chair Helle Thorning-Schmidt said in a press conference that Facebook, which has six months to respond, would appreciate the decision. CNBC’s Jon Fortt commented on Facebook’s Oversight Board’s decision on Thursday and said:

“Facebook is a controlled company, which means there’s only one vote that counts, Mark Zuckerberg’s. Meanwhile, Facebook has shifting rules and a consistent desire to duck responsibility for the part ‘it’ played in chopping up the body politic. This whole back and forth just clarifies what we already knew; Facebook has enormous influence over communication globally, and there really aren’t any checks on that power. This faux supreme court was supposed to do the job, and it just threw in the towel.”

The news comes a week after Facebook published its earnings report for the fiscal first quarter. Facebook opened at £226.52 per share on Thursday and is currently exchanging hands at £228.84. At the time of writing, it is valued at £649 billion and has a price to earnings ratio of 27.23.

The other side of the debate

Fortt, however, commented on the other side of the debate as well and said:

“On the other hand, the Oversight Board gave us something better than a decision on Donald Trump. It gave us a decision on Facebook’s fairness. The Board said, Facebook, what you did with Donald Trump isn’t fair. You can’t have indefinite suspensions. Either kick people out for egregious rule violations or suspend them and let them know what they can do to come back.”

Basically, Facebook said to the Board, rule on this decision for us, and the Oversight Board said, actually, we’re going to rule on your own decision-making process – fix it, you have six months,” he added.

Facebook, in recent years, has been under massive criticism for unclear rules and inconsistent enforcement. But the social media giant has been ignorant towards it. The Oversight Board, however, has the influence to expose Facebook’s inconsistencies and push it for transparency. As per Jon Fortt, that’s exactly what the Board did.

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