Facebook’s final decision whether to ban Trump could end up back with the Oversight Board

Donald Trump
Most Americans blame President Donald Trump for the Capitol siege, with less than one-fifth saying he’s blameless for the violence, according to a new Insider poll.

Facebook’s Oversight Board told reporters on Wednesday that the social media site might refer its final decision on former President Donald Trump’s ban to the board again later this year.

The comment was made during a press call following its ruling on Wednesday, according to The Information reporter Alex Heath.

Facebook’s Oversight Board ruled on Wednesday to uphold Facebook’s suspension of Trump’s accounts, but told the site to review the decision in six months.

Trump was suspended from Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms following the January 6 Capitol insurrection.

This is a developing story. Please check back for more details.

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Facebook’s Oversight Board will announce its decision on the future of Donald Trump’s banned account on Wednesday

Trump Zuckerberg
Donald Trump Mark Zuckerberg

  • Facebook suspended Donald Trump’s account on January 7, after the Capitol Siege.
  • The Facebook Oversight Board has received a record number of comments related to the case.
  • After five months of review, the board will announce its decision on May 5.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Facebook Oversight Board said it will announce its decision on the future of former President Donald Trump’s Facebook account on Wednesday morning.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the platform was indefinitely suspending Trump’s account on January 7, after Trump supporters had stormed the US Capitol the day before.

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.”

The popular social media app was one of many to ban Trump from its platform. Twitter and YouTube also followed suit. In February, Twitter announced Trump was permanently banned. In March, YouTube said it would lift its ban when the risk of violence had decreased.

Read more: He’s baaack (kind of). Inside Trump’s bid to get on Twitter without officially being allowed on Twitter.

Two weeks after Zuckerberg’s announcement regarding Trump’s account, the company turned the decision over to its independent Oversight Board.

In January, the board was given 90 days to review the decision, but extended its deadline in April after it received 9,000 comments on the Trump case – more than any other case it had reviewed before.

Zuckerberg created the board in 2018, and it operates as a type of “Supreme Court” at Facebook that can overrule the company’s content moderation guidelines, as well as the CEO.

Shortly after, Zuckerberg said he had invested $130 million in creating the board, Trump called him in 2018 to oppose one of the board’s members. Trump took issue with Pamela Karlan, a Stanford Law professor who later testified at his 2019 impeachment. Zuckerberg did not take Karlan off the board, despite Trump’s recommendation.

The Oversight Board’s decision will likely set a precedent for social media moderation and could impact other platforms’ bans of the former president.

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Trump submitted an appeal directly to Facebook’s Oversight Board, which will rule whether he’s allowed back on the platform, according to a new report

Trump Zuckerberg
Donald Trump Mark Zuckerberg

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. 

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