Following an announcement from the Facebook Oversight Board to uphold a suspension of former president Donald Trump’s account while also directing Facebook to revisit the decision for a final determination, Policy Director at Decode Democracy Ann M. Ravel issued the following statement:
“The decision from the Facebook Oversight Board marks a short-term step to limit the spread of dangerous online disinformation, but it’s far from a reason to celebrate the social media giant as a beacon of responsibility. If the company is truly interested in accountability, it should permanently ban Trump based on the totality of his behavior, including harassment, incitements to violence, and repeated disinformation about the election results.
At the same time, the disinformation crisis fueled by Facebook and other social media platforms goes well beyond the former president. By creating an oversight board with a particularly narrow mandate, Facebook is ducking accountability on the many ways it amplifies lies, conspiracy theories, and disinformation that incites violence — such as recommendations to people to join groups that engage in violence and allowing microtargeting to spread inflammatory content.
For Facebook to truly grapple with the platform’s role in spreading harmful content, it must change its model to treat political disinformation as a fundamental threat to democracy rather than one of the company’s most precious commodities. At the same time, it’s up to all of us to demand laws that hold social media companies like Facebook accountable. Ultimately, no matter what Facebook says, it’s up to us to provide the real oversight.”
Click here to view Decode Democracy’s submission to the Facebook Oversight Board from February. encouraging the company to permanently ban Donald Trump from the platform.