Facebook Board Set to Issue Ruling on Trump Ban

Oversight board says decision will be out this week
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 3, 2021 2:38 PM CDT
Facebook Board Set to Issue Ruling on Trump Ban
In this Jan. 6, 2021 photo, Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington.   (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

In a a decision likely to stir up strong feelings no matter which way it goes, Donald Trump will find out this week whether he gets to return to Facebook. The social network’s quasi-independent Oversight Board says it will announce its decision Wednesday on a case concerning the former president, the AP reports. Trump's account was suspended the day after the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot. After years of treating Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric with a light touch, Facebook and Instagram silenced his accounts on Jan. 7, saying at the time he’d be suspended "at least" through the end of his presidency.

Although Trump posted often to Facebook, his platform of choice was always Twitter. But Twitter banned him permanently, without an oversight board to kick the final decision to. Facebook created the oversight panel to rule on thorny content on its platforms in response to widespread criticism about its inability to respond swiftly and effectively to misinformation, hate speech and nefarious influence campaigns. Its decisions so far have weighed on the side of free expression vs. restricting content. The board's independence has been questioned by critics who say it's a Facebook public relations campaign intended to draw attention away from deeper problems of hate and misinformation that still flourish on its platforms.

(More Facebook stories.)

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