This morning, Facebook’s Oversight Board announced that it is upholding its previous suspension of former President Donald Trump’s account and directed Facebook to reexamine the indefinite suspension the company imposed on Mr. Trump on January 7. Facebook indefinitely suspended Mr. Trump’s account one day after an insurrection at our nation’s capital in an attempt to overturn the results of the fairly contested presidential election. Mr. Trump’s postings on Facebook invited and encouraged participation in a “Stop the Steal” event that culminated in the violent, deadly attack on the Capitol. On January 21, the platform announced that it was referring the decision on the future of Mr. Trump’s presence on Facebook to its Oversight Board.
In response to today’s news, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill issued the following statement:
“For years, President Trump was left unchecked to use the power and influence of social media to spread lies, discrimination, and violent rhetoric to tens of millions of Americans and hundreds of millions worldwide. His posts were shared widely, adding to the spread of misinformation about nearly every topic he discussed. Mr. Trump’s misuse of the platform threatened the integrity of our democracy. As President of the United States, he used the platform to spread misinformation about voting, to undermine confidence in the integrity of our elections and of the judiciary, and to incite hostility towards racial minorities and immigrants. Hate crimes rose exponentially during the period that Mr. Trump used the Facebook platform to stoke racial and ethnic hatred and division.
“Just a few months ago, he used his account to incite his followers to attempt to overturn the results of the presidential election, resulting in a violent attack our nation’s capital based on his dangerous lie that the results of the 2020 presidential election were illegitimate despite his own administration’s proclamations – and the vote certifications of all 50 states – that there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud. Central to his false claims about voter fraud were his attempts to delegitimize the increase in Black voter turnout in cities like Atlanta, Detroit, and Milwaukee.
“We are encouraged by the decision of the Oversight Board to temporarily uphold the platform’s previous suspension. We also believe that the evidence supports the permanent ban of Mr. Trump. He has demonstrated that he is unwilling and unable to use the platform consistent with Facebook’s Community Standards. Just a few days ago, Mr. Trump reiterated the same false claims about the 2020 presidential election that incited the January 6 insurrection. We hope that after the reexamination called for by the Oversight Board, Facebook will continue its permanent ban of Mr. Trump.
“Today is an important first step in the long overdue and necessary application of Facebook’s standards against Mr. Trump.”
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Follow LDF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.