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Facebook's oversight board upholds Trump's suspension

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An independent board at Facebook on Wednesday upheld the suspension of former President Donald Trump from the platform, but said his indefinite ban was wrong.

The highly-awaited verdict from the oversight board was closely watched as a test of how the world's largest social network would handle current and former world leaders who challenge the site's rules governing content.

Facebook indefinitely blocked Trump's access to his Facebook and Instagram accounts after a violent mob of his supporters, sparked by his false claims of election fraud, launched a deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Other web platforms also imposed bans. Trump was suspended from YouTube, and permanently blocked from Twitter.

On Wednesday, Facebook's Oversight Board found that, in maintaining an unfounded narrative of electoral fraud and persistent calls to action, Mr. Trump created an environment where a serious risk of violence was possible.

While it upheld the ban, the board also criticized what it saw as an indeterminate suspension without clear standards and said the company needs to review the decision within six months.

Michael McConnell is the co-chair of the Oversight Board,:

"Indefinite penalties of this sort, do not pass the international or American smell test for clarity, consistency, and transparency."

The ruling comes a day after Trump launched a new web page to share messages that readers can then re-post to their Facebook or Twitter accounts.

A senior adviser has said Trump also has plans to launch his own social media platform.

But without his digital bullhorn, the ex-president has recently been reduced to e-mailing short statements. One on Monday continued to promote false claims about his 2020 election loss.

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