WASHINGTON, D.C. — Facebook and Instagram’s Oversight Board will announce Wednesday whether or not it will allow former President Donald Trump to return to the social media sites.
The board, which is an outside group funded and created by Facebook to review the network’s policy issues, says it will release its decision at about 9 a.m. EST.
Like nearly every other social media platform, Facebook and Instagram suspended Trump’s accounts following the U.S. Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6. The sites claimed Trump helped to incite the riot through his rhetoric online.
In Facebook’s case, it initially blocked Trump from its platforms for 24 hours for two policy violations before extending the block “indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks,” as President Joe Biden transitioned into the White House.
On Jan. 21, the day after Biden took office, Facebook announced that it would be referring its decision to indefinitely suspend Trump’s access to its Oversight Board.
“In making our decision, our first priority was to assist in the peaceful transfer of power. This is why, when announcing the suspension on January 7, we said it would be indefinite and for at least two weeks. We are referring it to the Oversight Board now that the inauguration has taken place,” wrote Facebook.
The decision to ban Trump from social media sites like Facebook was met with both praise and criticism. Some said Facebook should have banned Trump long ago, while others called the ban “censorship” and argued it was a display of unaccountable corporate power over political speech.