A group of scholars and civil rights advocates have urged social media giant Facebook to permanently ban former US president Donald Trump from the platform, calling him a "clear and present danger, according to an AFP report. The group includes critics of the social media company, called on Facebook's oversight board to remove Trump from the omnipresent platform after the ex-president's account was frozen in the aftermath of the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
According to the report, the board has the final say in banning the content and profiles from the world's biggest social network.
In a letter to Facebook, the scholars said that revoking the Trump ban will pave way for violence, hate and disinformation that will cost lives and undermine democracy.
They described Trump as a serial abuser of social media rules who poses a danger "to democracy and human life."
After January 6, microblogging site Twitter also banned Trump and on Wednesday announced the former president will not be permitted back on the network he used constantly, even if he runs for office again. "Our policies are designed to ensure that people are not inciting violence," Twitter Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal said on CNBC.
Conservatives on Capitol Hill and beyond say the moves by Facebook and Twitter to "deplatform" Trump demonstrate political bias and inhibit free speech.
In the letter to Facebook's board, the group also lambasts the social media company for employing the board as a "fig leaf" to evade responsibility for tough decisions.
"More than ever, this demonstrates why we need independent, democratically accountable oversight," the group said.
They also called for "laws that change financial incentives for big tech, heavy regulation and a reckoning with the algorithms that are laying waste to democratic society."
Signers of the letter include Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change; Anti-Defamation League head Jonathan Greenblatt; and Harvard professor Lawrence Tribe.
Facebook and its Instagram platform suspended Trump after his supporters stormed the US Capitol on January 6, an attack on the seat of democracy that led to Trump's second impeachment by lawmakers.
Members of Facebook's oversight board come from various countries and include jurists, human rights activists, journalists, a Nobel peace laureate and a former Danish prime minister.