Facebook through its Oversight Board will announce the long-anticipated decision on the fate of former President Trump’s Facebook account on Wednesday morning.
The company indefinitely suspended Trump’s account on Facebook and Instagram on January 7, after Trump supporters had stormed the US Capitol the day before in a bid to overturn the 2020 election results.
Twitter and YouTube also suspended the former President citing an ongoing risk of violence and incitement. In February, Twitter announced Trump was permanently banned . In March, YouTube said it would lift its ban when the risk of violence had decreased.
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.”
On Monday, May 3, Facebook said that its Oversight Board will announce its long-anticipated decision on the fate of former President Trump’s Facebook account at 9 a.m. ET on Wednesday.
The Oversight Board will announce its decision on the case concerning former US President Trump on its website at https://t.co/NNQ9YCrcrh on May 5, 2021 at approximately 9:00 a.m. EDT.
— Oversight Board (@OversightBoard) May 3, 2021
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 indefinite suspension from Facebook and Instagram – more than any other case it had reviewed before.
Following the complaints/responses, Facebook handed the decision to the Oversight board- an independent body which has the power to reverse content decisions and set precedent for the company.
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.
According to reports, Trump is set to launch his own social media platform in the coming months.