Facebook's Oversight Board has postponed its decision regarding former President Donald Trump's potential return to Facebook and Instagram. Trump was banned from Facebook in January after the U.S. Capitol siege.
Facebook's board, made up of attorneys, scholars, and other outside experts, had 90 days to evaluate the former president's indefinite suspension after the social media platform referred his case to the panel on January 21. However, the board stated on Friday it needed to push back the deadline because of the immense public interest regarding the case.
Why Facebook Is Postponing Decision on Trump's Ban
According to the quasi-independent Oversight Board on Friday, it will take longer than anticipated to decide whether or not Trump's prohibition should be upheld. It remarked it needs more time to tackle the inundation of public comments. The social media network had appealed to the board to make a final ruling on whether the suspension was justified after he reportedly incited his supporters to storm the Capitol Hill, reported SCNOW.
The Facebook Oversight Board is the quasi-judicial organization that the website set up to assess tough moderation choices. It said the decision would arrive "in the coming weeks." The decision was initially supposed to take 90 days. The board will have to evaluate over 9,000 comments it has received regarding the case, reported The Verge.
The decision was initially due by April 21. The ruling will be the biggest decision Facebook's Oversight Board has had to make since it commenced tackling cases in 2020.
The board extended the deadline for the public to submit comments regarding how they must rule. According to the panel, "The board will announce its decision on the case concerning former U.S. President Trump's indefinite suspension from Facebook and Instagram in the coming weeks. The Board's commitment to carefully reviewing all comments has extended the case timeline in line with the board's bylaws," reported Politico.
The board stated in a Twitter post they extended the public comments deadline for the case. It added the panel's commitment to thoroughly evaluate all comments and extended the case timeline according to its bylaws. They will disclose information soon.
In January, after the U.S. Capitol riots, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote the risks of allowing the former president to continue using their service during that period are simply too much. Trump has remained prohibited from the services. His efforts to appear in videos on his children's pages have also been barred.
Zuckerberg established the 20-member committee. It is also usually called "Facebook's Supreme Court." Among the nine cases it had ruled on was a comment that appeared derogatory to Muslims in a post from a user in Myanmar. It was removed for contravening hate-speech rules. However, it was deemed not to be Islamophobic upon taking in context.
The Facebook board will reportedly face backlash in Washington, whatever it rules. Republicans have condemned Facebook for suspending Trump. Democrats for years have called on it and other social media platforms to kick him off for reportedly spreading misinformation and allegedly harmful incendiary rhetoric.