Facebook Oversight Board has upheld the platform’s decision to ban Donald Trump for posts related to the attack on the US Capitol in January by his supporters.
It however criticised the permanent nature of the ban as beyond the scope of Facebook’s normal penalties.
The oversight panel which is an independent group that reviews the company’s most complex issues ordered Facebook to review the decision and “justify a proportionate response” that is applied to everyone, including ordinary users.
It would be recalled that former president was banned from both Facebook and Instagram in January following the Capitol Hill riots.
The Oversight Board said the initial decision to permanently suspend Mr Trump was “indeterminate and standardless”, and that the correct response should be “consistent with the rules that are applied to other users of its platform”.
Facebook must respond within six months, it said.
The ruling means that Mr Trump’s suspension remains in place for now.
The Oversight Board decided that Mr Trump had broken Facebook’s community standards, and upheld the ban.
But it is the “indefinite” part of the ban that it took issue with because that is not within its own rules.
“It is not permissible for Facebook to keep a user off the platform for an undefined period, with no criteria for when or whether the account will be restored,” it said in a statement.
Applying that type of ban to Mr Trump was not following any clear procedure, it said.
In the meantime, Mr Trump, who is also banned from Twitter, launched a new website on Tuesday to update supporters with his thoughts.