Oversight Board to examine Trump ban on Facebook, Instagram

The independent Oversight Board has accepted a case to examine the decision by the social network to indefinitely suspend former US President Donald Trumps access to post content on Facebook and Instagram.

A decision by the board on this case will be binding on Facebook, and determine whether Trump’s suspension from access to Facebook and Instagram for an indefinite amount of time is overturned.

“Facebook has committed not to restore access to its platforms unless directed by a decision of the Oversight Board. Facebook must consider any accompanying policy recommendations from the Board, and publicly respond to them,” the board said in a statement late on Thursday.

Facebook suspended Trump’s access to post on its main platform and Instagram on January 7 following the Capitol chaos.

?Nick Clegg, VP of Global Affairs at Facebook, said that the board’s decisions are binding and can’t be overruled by CEO Mark Zuckerberg or anyone else at Facebook.

“We look forward to receiving the board’s decision � and we hope, given the clear justification for our actions on January 7, that it will uphold the choices we made,” Clegg said.

The Oversight Board was launched by Facebook in late 2020 to provide a critical independent check on Facebook’s approach to the most challenging content issues, which have enormous implications for global human rights and free expression.

Over the coming days, the Trump case will be assigned to a five-member case review panel.

“Trump, through his designated page administrators, will have the ability to submit a user statement to the Board explaining why he believes Facebook’s content moderation decisions should be overturned,” the board informed.

Facebook will also share contextual information and a detailed explanation for their existing content decisions in this case.

The Board’s Bylaws set an outer limit of 90 days as the time within which it must make a decision.