Facebook’s oversight board has upheld the decision to ban Donald Trump from their platform in the wake of the 2020 US election – and the violence in Washington DC that followed.
But in a statement the body said the social network should not have imposed an “indeterminate and standardless penalty of an indefinite suspension”.
And they said the network had sought to “avoid its responsibilities” by “applying a vague, standardless penalty and then referring this case to the Board to resolve.”
And they told bosses to review the decision and come up with a “proportionate response” – that is consistent with the rules for all users – within six months.
The board’s decision does not say whether they believe President Trump should have been permanently banned, or whether a time limit should have been applied to the suspension.
But they’ve given Facebook six months to pick one, and justify it.
They wrote: “…it was not appropriate for Facebook to impose the indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension.
“Facebook’s normal penalties include removing the violating content, imposing a time-bound period of suspension, or permanently disabling the page and account.”
They added: “The Board insists that Facebook review this matter to determine and justify a proportionate response that is consistent with the rules that are applied to other users of its platform.
“Facebook must complete its review of this matter within six months of the date of this decision.
“The Board also made policy recommendations for Facebook to implement in developing clear, necessary, and proportionate policies that promote public safety and respect freedom of expression.”