Social media giant Facebook’s new Oversight Board will be taking a decision on the indefinite ban imposed on former US President Donald Trump “in the coming weeks”. The Board had asked for public comments on the case, which was sent to it on January 21. The Board typically makes a decision on cases within 90 days, which would end later this month.
The public comments period for the Trump case was also extended later and the statement said it has received over 9000 responses on the same. “The Board’s commitment to carefully reviewing all comments has extended the case timeline, in line with the Board’s bylaws. We will share more information soon,” the statement added.
The former US President’s accounts were banned from Facebook on January 7, accusing him of breaking the platform’s rules around posts inciting violence. The ban was imposed following violence at the US Capitol building, for which many have blamed Trump and his posts on social media. “Facebook’s decision to suspend Mr. Trump’s access to post on Facebook and Instagram on January 7, 2020 has driven intense global interest. The Oversight Board has been closely following events in the United States (US) and Facebook’s response to them, and the Board is ready to provide a thorough and independent assessment of the company’s decision,” the Board said in a blog post at the time.
The platform had also committed to not restore Trump’s accounts unless the Board directs it to do so. The Board’s decision on the matter is expected to have overarching implications on how Facebook deals with political leaders on its platforms in future. This has been a question raised by many of the company’s employees and users over the past year or so.