At the time, Zuckerberg said Facebook believes that “the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great.” He cited Trump’s response to the protests against the election results, in which the former president did not condemn his supporters’ actions and told them, “We love you; you’re very special.”
Former president Donald Trump appealed directly to Facebook’s Oversight Board to rejoin the platform, Channel 4 News reported.
The Facebook Oversight Board, a team of 20 experts from around the world, is reviewing the tech company’s decision to permanently suspend Trump’s account. Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the former prime minister of Denmark and a member of the Oversight Board, told Channel 4 News of Trump’s appeal, according to the outlet’s communication director Hayley Barlow.
Thorning-Schmidt added the Oversight Board has received thousands of public comments on the issue.
“We can confirm that a user statement has been received in the case before the Oversight Board concerning President Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts,” an Oversight Board spokesperson said in a statement to Insider. “We will have no further comment concerning that statement until the Board has issued its decision.”
Facebook suspended Trump’s account following the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol building. Trump had posted a video to Facebook during the insurrection that appeared sympathetic to rioters and disseminated false claims of election fraud.
The Facebook Oversight board, which launched last year and has ruled on five cases so far, announced on January 21 that it will review the company’s decision to suspend Trump. The board has 90 days total to decide whether Trump can remain on the platform. Decisions made by the Board cannot be overturned.
The former president had been critical of Facebook’s decision to launch an oversight board. The New Yorker reported that Trump called CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself to protest the addition of Pamela Karlan, a Stanford Law professor who testified at his 2019 impeachment. Zuckerberg listened to his complaints but did not change the board’s composition, per The New Yorker.
The Oversight Board overturned Facebook’s decisions in four out of five prior rulings. The Board voted to reinstate posts, like that of a breast cancer symptom and on the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in China, Facebook removed for violating its terms of service.
A spokesperson for Trump did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.