Facebook’s Oversight Board has delivered its ruling on the company’s indefinite ban on Donald Trump. After a delay, partially to review the more than 9,000 public comments people submitted to this case, the Oversight Board has announced that it’ll release its decision on Trump’s ban this Wednesday, May 5th, at 9AM ET.
Theoretically, this should be the final word on Trump’s future on the platform — both Facebook and the Oversight Board have made it clear that the board’s decisions are final and Facebook is unable to overturn them. Of course, if the board says that Trump’s ban will stay in place, it’s not hard to imagine the former president making a stink and trying to find an avenue to get back on Facebook.
Facebook first locked Trump out of his Facebook and Instagram accounts for 24 hours, shortly after the January 6th attack on the US Capitol. The company quickly decided to ban him indefinitely; it first said it would last at least until President Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20th. The day after the inauguration, Facebook announced its Oversight Board would decide if the suspension should be continued or not and that Trump was to stay removed from the platforms until that decision was made.
As of today, the Oversight Board has ruled on a total of eight cases, overturning Facebook’s decision in six of them. The Trump case is a different animal, though — while these prior decisions were regarding specific posts on Facebook that were removed, the board hasn’t yet ruled on something as broad as removing a user permanently, let alone one with such a high profile.
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