Facebook’s Oversight Board, an independent and international body founded and funded by the social network, plans to announce on Wednesday whether former President Donald J. Trump can return to the platform that was created for him and his tens critical megaphone was of millions of followers.
The decision is seen as a template for how private social networking companies handle political language, including the misinformation disseminated by political leaders.
Mr. Trump was locked indefinitely on Jan. 7 from Facebook after using his social media accounts to convince a crowd of his supporters to storm the Capitol the day before. Mr Trump had refused to accept his election defeat, saying the election had been stolen from him.
At the time Facebook banned Mr. Trump, the company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, wrote in a post: “We believe the risk that the president will continue to use our service during this time is simply too great.”
Two weeks later, The company referred the case from Mr. Trump to Facebook’s board of directors for a final decision on whether the ban should be permanent. Facebook and the board members said the panel’s decisions are binding, but critics are skeptical of the board’s independence. Critics said the panel is a unique Supreme Court-like company in the online language field, funded by a private company that has been shown to have failed to enforce its own rules.
Facebook’s approach to political speech was inconsistent. In October 2019, Mr. Zuckerberg became said the company will not review the political speech and said that even lies from politicians deserved a place on the social network because it was in the public’s interest to hear all ideas from political leaders. But Mr Trump’s comments on Jan. 6 were different, the company said, because they incited violence and threatened peaceful elections.
On Monday, Mr. Trump continued to contest the election results.
“The fraudulent 2020 presidential election will be known as THE BIG LIE! From that day on,” he said in a statement sent via email.