Facebook to Announce Its Decision on Trump Ban Wednesday

The content oversight board for Facebook and Instagram will announce its decision regarding the ongoing suspension of former President Donald Trump on Wednesday.

The social media giant’s independent oversight board announced the timing of the decision in a brief Twitter message on Monday, saying the verdict will be made public at 9 a.m. on May 5.

The independent board, which purportedly has the power to overrule Facebook, has said in mid-April that it had collected and was reviewing more than 9,000 comments from the public.

The board usually takes 90 days to review controversies and its decision regarding Trump was expected in March. Five members of the board are reviewing the case, but their decision must be signed off by a majority of the board.

Facebook banned Trump from its platform on Jan. 7 following the breach of the Capitol on Jan. 6. The company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, alleged at the time that Trump had failed to condemn the violence. Trump had urged followers to protest peacefully and urged the crowd to go home after reports of violence surfaced. The people who breached the Capitol accounted for a small fraction of the large crowd that assembled in Washington to listen to Trump speak.

In one video released on the day of the breach, Trump told supporters to “go home peacefully” but also said “we love you” and “you’re very special,” prompting allegations that he was speaking to those who breached the Capitol, rather than the larger peaceful crowd.

“We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at the time, claiming that Trump decided “to use his platform to condone rather than condemn the actions of his supporters at the Capitol building.”

Facebook subsequently said Trump’s suspension would be indefinite and moved to delete all content featuring his voice, including an interview of the president by his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump.

Trump has called his remarks in the wake of the breach “totally appropriate.” Big Tech, which includes Facebook, is “doing a horrible thing to our country,” he added while speaking to reporters while still in office, calling the suspension “a catastrophic mistake.”

Twitter, where like Facebook Trump had tens of millions of followers, is maintaining its suspension of the former president and considers the decision final.

Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.

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