Facebook’s oversight board will announce on Wednesday whether they’ll let Trump back
Former President Donald Trump has been banned from Facebook since January
Facebook’s oversight board will finally announce on Wednesday whether it will allow former President Donald Trump to use the social media site again, four months after banning him over the Capitol riot.
The oversight board was due to announce its decision in mid April but delayed it. On Monday, the board prolonged it further by saying it would announce it decision on Wednesday.
It comes after months of clandestine discussion over the decision and outrage over the Silicon Valley giant’s censorship of conservative views and voices.
After banning Trump, the company then banned an interview he’d given to his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, which was his first on-camera since he left office. Facebook still allowed clips of past interviews and phone interviews that he had given to appear on the pages of media outlets like Fox and CNN.
They also censored posts throughout his presidency and afterwards.
Twitter also banned Trump, claiming he helped stoke the riot.
There are 20 people on Facebook’s oversight board, five of whom are American. The majority are left-leaning.
The board was created last year with the first four members chosen directly by Facebook.
Those initial members then worked with the social media giant to select the others. Facebook pays the salaries of the oversight board members.
The oversight board was due to announce its decision in mid April but delayed it. On Monday, the board prolonged it further by saying it would announce it decision on Wednesday
The social media giant was criticized when the makeup of its board was first announced last year with critics saying the so-called ‘politically neutral’ panel was swamped with left-wing luminaries like former Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt.
The board, which has since also been criticized for its delayed start and limited remit, has not yet ruled on any of its first batch of six cases that range from hate speech to graphic images.
Their expertise varies between academia – there are several professors – politics and philanthropy. Some work in human rights.
Twitter has not announced if it will ever let Trump back online.
Since losing his social media pages, he has communicated with supporters through email blasts from his office.
His children have also turned to alternative social media sites like Telegram to spread his message.
FACEBOOK’S ‘SUPREME COURT’: THE 20 OVERSIGHT BOARD MEMBERS
Afia Asantewaa Asare-Kyei – A human rights advocate who works on women’s rights, media freedom and access to information issues across Africa at the Open Society Initiative for West Africa.
Evelyn Aswad – A University of Oklahoma College of Law professor who formerly served as a senior State Department lawyer and specializes in the application of international human rights standards to content moderation issues
Endy Bayuni – A journalist who twice served as the editor-in-chief of The Jakarta Post, and helps direct a journalists’ association that promotes excellence in the coverage of religion and spirituality.
Catalina Botero Marino, co-chair – A former U.N. special rapporteur for freedom of expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States who now serves as dean of the Universidad de los Andes Faculty of Law.
Katherine Chen – A communications scholar at the National Chengchi University who studies social media, mobile news and privacy, and a former national communications regulator in Taiwan.
Nighat Dad – A digital rights advocate who offers digital security training to women in Pakistan and across South Asia to help them protect themselves against online harassment, campaigns against government restrictions on dissent, and received the Human Rights Tulip Award.
Jamal Greene, co-chair – A Columbia Law professor who focuses on constitutional rights adjudication and the structure of legal and constitutional argument.
Pamela Karlan – A Stanford Law professor and Supreme Court advocate who has represented clients in voting rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and First Amendment cases, and serves as a member of the board of the American Constitution Society. Karlan had been asked to describe the differences between a U.S. president and a king during Trump’s impeachment hearing when she brought up the first son’s name. ‘The Constitution says there can be no titles of nobility, so while the president can name his son Barron, he can’t make him a baron,’ Karlan told lawmakers. She later apologized.
Tawakkol Karman – A Nobel Peace Prize laureate who used her voice to promote nonviolent change in Yemen during the Arab Spring, and was named as one of ‘History’s Most Rebellious Women’ by Time magazine.
Maina Kiai – A director of Human Rights Watch’s Global Alliances and Partnerships Program and a former U.N. special rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association who has decades of experience advocating for human rights in Kenya.
Sudhir Krishnaswamy – A vice chancellor of the National Law School of India University who co-founded an advocacy organization that works to advance constitutional values for everyone, including LGBTQ+ and transgender persons, in India.
Ronaldo Lemos – A technology, intellectual property and media lawyer who co-created a national internet rights law in Brazil, co-founded a nonprofit focused on technology and policy issues, and teaches law at the Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro.
Michael McConnell, co-chair – A former U.S. federal circuit judge who is now a constitutional law professor at Stanford, an expert on religious freedom, and a Supreme Court advocate who has represented clients in a wide range of First Amendment cases involving freedom of speech, religion and association.
Julie Owono – A digital rights and anti-censorship advocate who leads Internet Sans Frontières and campaigns against internet censorship in Africa and around the world.
Emi Palmor – A former director general of the Israeli Ministry of Justice who led initiatives to address racial discrimination, advance access to justice via digital services and platforms and promote diversity in the public sector.
Alan Rusbridger – A former editor-in-chief of The Guardian who transformed the newspaper into a global institution and oversaw its Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the Edward Snowden disclosures. He was editor of the left-leaning Guardian newspaper for 20 years, which was chosen by Edward Snowden to publicise his NSA leaks and campaigned against the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States.
András Sajó – A former judge and vice president of the European Court of Human Rights who is an expert in free speech and comparative constitutionalism.
John Samples – A public intellectual who writes extensively on social media and speech regulation, advocates against restrictions on online expression, and helps lead a libertarian think tank.
Left to right: Nicolas Suzor and Helle Thorning-Schmidt
Nicolas Suzor – A Queensland University of Technology Law School professor who focuses on the governance of social networks and the regulation of automated systems, and has published a book on internet governance.
Helle Thorning-Schmidt, co-chair – A former prime minister of Denmark who repeatedly took stands for free expression while in office and then served as CEO of Save the Children. The social democrat was elected in 2011 on a pro-immigration, high tax manifesto before losing power in 2015.