Former US President Trump isn’t welcome on Facebook – yet. The indefinite ban imposed on him after he egged an insurrection at the capitol wasn’t really up for discussion, until recently. The Oversight Board has asked Facebook to take an appropriate decision in 6 months. This brings us to the question: “Do SM brands really care?”
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For several years, social media giants like Facebook and Twitter maintained close scrutiny over abusive and evasive posts. Usually the social media channel will temporarily ban or label abuser’s account. Push came to shove for real after the attack on capitol, which was like an epiphany for many SM leaders.
Brands like Facebook and Twitter brought down the hammer on not only the primary alleged account, but also its supporters. Thousands of twitter accounts faced a temporary ban along with Trump, who at the time had 88 million followers.
On 4 May, Twitter suspended several accounts after identifying that they were set to share statements from the former president’s recently launched blog site.
Accounting the same, a twitter spokesperson said, “As stated in our ban evasion policy, we’ll take enforcement action on accounts whose apparent intent is to replace or promote content affiliated with a suspended account.”
According to the support page of Twitter’s suspended accounts, it is clearly stated that, “Most of the accounts we suspend are suspended because they are spammy, or just plain fake, and they introduce security risks for Twitter and all of our users.”
In many cases, users can appeal to the channel and unsuspend their account. However, that is not the case with Trump. Twitter has also suspended numerous accounts that were similar to Donald Trump, such as @DJTrumpDesk, @DeskofDJT, @DeskOfTrump1, etc.
Facebook recently turned to its Oversight Board to decide on the case of Trump’s indefinite ban on its channel. In return, the board replied,”In applying an indeterminate and standardless penalty and then referring this case to the Board to resolve, Facebook seeks to avoid its responsibilities. The Board declines Facebook’s request and insists that Facebook apply and justify a defined penalty.”
Discussing the stance of Trump’s ban, the board has earlier commented, “Within six months of this decision, Facebook must reexamine the arbitrary penalty it imposed on January 7 and decide the appropriate penalty. This penalty must be based on the gravity of the violation and the prospect of future harm. It must also be consistent with Facebook’s rules for severe violations, which must, in turn, be clear, necessary and proportionate.”
So, the short answer to the question, if SM brands really care, is, “Maybe.”
Social media brands have to come to understand and value not just secularism, but nationalism. Upholding a cause and staying true to it, irrespective of the gravity of an account, shows true credibility. This helps pave a better roadmap for online trust and support.