Facebook’s Oversight Board will announce whether former President Donald Trump can return to Facebook and Instagram at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, the board said.
The blockbuster ruling could have enormous implications, as the announcement could give Trump access to the world’s largest social media network.
If denied, Trump would remain banned from the platform.
Following the events of Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote, “We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great.”
Zuckerberg also said, “His decision to use his platform to condone rather than condemn the actions of his supporters at the Capitol building has rightly disturbed people in the US and around the world.”
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
Facebook has continued to receive significant feedback regarding Trump’s ongoing ban.
CNN Business reported, “The Board said last month that it had received 9,000+ public responses concerning Trump’s indefinite suspension from Facebook and Instagram.”
The Big Tech giant’s approach has differed from those of other social media outlets. Twitter, for example, permanently banned the former president.
Twitter’s statement suggested that Trump would not be allowed to return to its platform even if he were elected president again.
Ned Segal, Twitter chief financial officer, told CNBC in February, “The way our policies work, when you’re removed from the platform, you’re removed from the platform whether you are a commentator, a CFO or you are a former or public official.”
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, meanwhile, placed a temporary ban on Trump’s account.
She said in March, “We will lift the suspension of the Donald Trump channel when we determine the risk of violence has decreased,” according to The Washington Post. His suspension has yet to be removed.
Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has said he will sign his state’s bill that will prevent Big Tech companies from kicking political candidates off their platforms.
The legislation would punish technology companies for “deplatforming” political candidates, NBC News reported.
Under the bill, social media companies can suspend a political candidate for 14 days and remove posts that violate their terms of service, but they cannot “permanently delete or ban” a candidate.
Facebook’s decision will have tremendous implications for both Trump and other political candidates. Many 2022 midterm election candidates are already seeking Trump’s endorsement, hoping his return to Facebook will help boost conservative efforts on social media.
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