Social media giant Facebook said on Thursday that it was referring the case of the controversial ban of former President Donald Trump to their semi-independent Oversight Board.
The text of the full statement can be found here.
"Today, Facebook is referring its decision to indefinitely suspend former US President Donald Trump’s access to his Facebook and Instagram accounts to the independent Oversight Board. The board was established last year to make the final call on some of the most difficult content decisions Facebook makes. It is an independent body and its decisions are binding — they can’t be overruled by CEO Mark Zuckerberg or anyone else at Facebook. The board itself is made up of experts and civic leaders from around the world with a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives."
Facebook went on to say that they believe their "decision was necessary and right", due to the circumstances involved. "In making our decision, our first priority was to assist in the peaceful transfer of power. This is why, when announcing the suspension on January 7, we said it would be indefinite and for at least two weeks. We are referring it to the Oversight Board now that the inauguration has taken place."
The Facebook Oversight Board is composed of 20 people from all over the world, who are purported to be experts in relevant fields, such as legal scholars, journalists, and people who have worked in politics and human rights.
"The reaction to our decision shows the delicate balance private companies are being asked to strike. Some said that Facebook should have banned President Trump long ago, and that the violence on the Capitol was itself a product of social media; others that it was an unacceptable display of unaccountable corporate power over political speech." Facebook originally banned Trump following claims that Trump willfully incited violence on Jan. 6, the day of the Capitol riots.