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Facebook’s ‘Oversight Board’ To Decide Whether Trump’s Ban Will Be Permanent

Facebook’s Oversight Board is expected to announce its decision Wednesday regarding whether former President Donald Trump will be reinstated on Facebook and Instagram, or if his ban following the January 6 riot in Washington, D.C., will remain permanent.

The board’s decision — according to their own guidance — was meant to be concluded in 90 days. They announced in mid-April, however, that a decision could be expected “in the coming weeks” so that the board could review the thousands of comments it had received regarding the case.

“The Board will announce its decision on the case concerning former US President Trump’s indefinite suspension from Facebook and Instagram in the coming weeks. We extended the public comments deadline for this case, receiving 9,000+ responses,” the Oversight Board announced on Twitter. “The Board’s commitment to carefully reviewing all comments has extended the case timeline, in line with the Board’s bylaws. We will share more information soon.”

“The board will announce its decision on this case — its most significant by far — at approximately 9 a.m. Wednesday,” reported The Washington Post. “The ruling is being closely watched by politicians around the world, as well as social media researchers and other tech companies that similarly banned Trump in January.”

Facebook was the first “major social media platform” to ban Trump following accusations of “incitement of violence” related to January 6.

“We believe the risks of allowing President Trump to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great, so we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks,” Facebook announced on Twitter on January 7.

Twitter moved to permanently ban Trump on January 8, announcing that “After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”

In addition to Donald Trump’s social media ban, Facebook also recently “removed a video of an interview with Trump conducted by his daughter-in-law Lara Trump, saying any content ‘in the voice of Donald Trump’ would be scrubbed from the social media platform,” according to Fox Business.

Last month, Facebook announced that it will be expanding the powers of its Oversight Board to now accept user appeals regarding content they want removed from Facebook and Instagram.

In a statement, the Oversight Board unveiled its new role in getting content pulled from the platform. “From today, users will be able to appeal content to the Oversight Board which they want removed from Facebook and Instagram.”

According to Reuters, “The board has 19 members, including former Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and several law experts and rights advocates. [The board’s administrative director] said a replacement member for law professor Pamela Karlan, who left to join the Biden administration, is being chosen.”

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