Social media bans are not new. For years, users have been subjected to bans for posting content that is not in line with community guidelines. Early this year, Facebook shocked the world by becoming the first social media giant to censor content from high-profile public figures. The person in question is former United States President Donald Trump. It came at a time when claims of election rigging sparked political unrest.
It was not surprising that Mr. Trump used this platform to make some controversial posts. To get a better understanding, let’s back up a little bit and sift through some of the most popular occurrences that sparked debates online and in the media circles. In 2015, Trump posted a video calling for a ban on Muslims entering the US. This time, the big tech giant decided to keep the post up even though it broke their guidelines, citing public interests as the main reason it was allowed to stay. In 2020, Trump posted some misleading information about the covid 19 disease, which stirred up the drama even more. His latest remarks in early 2021 are what finally put the nail to the coffin. A protest by his faithful supporters at the Capitol resulted in the death of five people, including a police officer. Even though he sent out a video to calm down his supporters, urging them to go home, he also said, “We love you, you are very special.”
Facebook’s move was taken with mixed reactions, with Trump’s supporters claiming that private companies should not be allowed to make such big decisions on their own. Also, it was not clear when there were policies or rules in place for taking such action. Recently, the oversight board set up to look into the matter upheld the CEO’s decision but put a timeline to the ban for two years to be backdated up to January. This was at least until the risk to public safety is receded.
Two years might not seem like a lot, but it eventually comes to an end. When the time comes, Face-book will reevaluate and conclude whether to extend the ban or allow the businessman turned poli-tician to continue using the platform. Donald Trump has also been banned on Youtube, Snapchat, and Twitter for the same post he made on January 6th.