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A statement from Brenda V. Castillo, President & CEO, National Hispanic Media Coalition
Today, the Facebook Oversight Board upheld Facebook’s decision to restrict Donald J. Trump’s access to posting content on his Facebook page and Instagram account. As stated in the case summary, “Mr. Trump created an environment where a serious risk of violence was possible. At the time of Mr. Trump’s posts, there was a clear, immediate risk of harm and his words of support for those involved in the riots legitimized their violent actions.”
Though we are relieved to see this conceptual progress from the Oversight Board, we are deeply troubled to be in this position in the first place, and to now, once again, be at the helm of Mark Zuckerberg’s will and personal ideologies. A permanent ban on Trump’s Facebook and Instagram presence is long overdue, and his supporters and other bad actors continue to flourish on the platform even in his absence. Yet, the Oversight Board and Facebook leadership continue to point fingers and abdicate the responsibility to safeguard American democracy and the dignity of its people.
We do not feel there is true accountability when Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook refuses to answer questions from Facebook’s own Oversight Board. According to the case summary, “The questions that Facebook did not answer included questions about how Facebook’s news feed and other features impacted the visibility of Mr. Trump’s content; whether Facebook has researched, or plans to research, those design decisions in relation to the events of January 6, 2021; and information about violating content from followers of Mr. Trump’s accounts.”
Years of inaction by Facebook prior to the January 6, 2021 terrorist attack on the Capitol serves as the foundation for deep seated mistrust between civil rights organizations, like NHMC, and the company’s leadership. We will continue to fight for the safety of the Latinx community on Facebook, and pressure leaders like Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, to take a stand against hate and white supremacy by permanently banning Donald J. Trump from Facebook.
It is not lost on us at NHMC that the fate of this case now rests in the hands of Facebook’s leadership, which lacks representation that mirrors the diversity of the U.S.–particularly for Latinx who make up nearly twenty percent of our country’s population. We remain steadfast in our commitment to platform accountability, and ensuring that social media companies are no longer governing themselves.
Yours in the Movement,
Brenda Victoria Castillo
President & CEO