New York Daily News

Trump slams Facebook for continuing his ban


Former President Donald Trump vowed revenge against social media companies after an oversight panel ruled Wednesday that Facebook could keep him suspended for at least another six months.

Facebook’s quasi-independen­t Oversight Board agreed that two of Trump’s posts “severely violated” their standards — but criticized the social media giant for imposing an “indetermin­ate and standardle­ss penalty of indefinite suspension.”

In six months, Facebook must review that suspension and specify how long it will last, “consistent with the rules that are applied to other users of its platform,” the board said.

Trump swiftly slammed the continuing ban as “a total disgrace and an embarrassm­ent to our country.”

“Free speech has been taken away from the president of the United States because the radical left lunatics are afraid of the truth,” he said in a email statement.

“These corrupt social media companies must pay a political price,” he continued. “[They] must never again be allowed to destroy and decimate our electoral process.”

Trump has hinted at plans to start his own social media network, but so far has not done so.

The one-time president was suspended “indefinite­ly” on

Jan. 7 from Facebook and Instagram — which is owned by Facebook — for inciting the violence at the Capitol a day earlier. He was also permanentl­y banned from Twitter.

Oversight Board Co-Chairwoman Helle Thorning-Schmidt said Facebook avoided responsibi­lity by keeping the ban vague.

“Facebook should either permanentl­y disable Trump’s account or impose a suspension for a specific period of time,” said Thorning-Schmidt, a former Danish prime minister.

In the first post that the board flagged, Trump told the rioters, “We love you. You’re very special.” In the second, he commended them as “great patriots” and told them to “remember this day forever.”

Both posts went against Facebook’s rules prohibitin­g praise or support of people engaged in violence, the panel said.

Oversight Board Chairman Thomas Hughes said there was a broad spectrum of opinions about Trump’s actions among the 20 members. But all were united in deciding that decisions must be fair and predictabl­e to all users, he said.

“Facebook must make its rules on things like account suspension­s and deletions, which are extremely important for freedom-of-expression issues ... they must make those rules consistent and transparen­t,” Hughes told MSNBC.

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