The Alliance for Healthy Infosphere responded to Facebook Oversight Board’s call for public comments on the case of Facebook’s indefinite suspension of Donald Trump’s account. The Alliance argues that:

  • Facebook’s decision to suspend the account of Donald Trump was right and proportionate to the situation.
  • The prolongation of the suspension to an indefinite period, however, had no sufficient ground in Facebook’s own rules.
  • The assessment of “off-Facebook” context when dealing with account suspension or content removal due to violation of community standards is constantly failing because of insufficient capacities for proper evaluation.
  • The appeal mechanism for users against Facebook’s decisions on content removal or account suspension is insufficient, as users often cannot receive proper reasoning behind Facebook’s decisions.

And recommends to:

  1. Provide clear publicly accessible criteria and processes for suspension of accounts, including a number of violations and their consequences.
  2. Robustly increase the number of people responsible for assessing off-Facebook context and newsworthiness of content.
  3. Create teams with proper language skills and knowledge of political/social background for each country/area where Facebook operates.
  4. Strengthen and expand the appeal mechanism by providing users elaborate reasoning behind each decision and an opportunity to escalate their case to a human analyst.
  5. Expand the Oversight Board’s competence in assessing cases when Facebook refused to remove content/account.

Read more in our position paper below.