Will Facebook Oversight Board Allow Trump Back on Facebook, Instagram?

January 21st, 2021 4:27 PM

Facebook’s infamously liberal Oversight Board has accepted a case to decide whether to allow former President Donald Trump back on Facebook and Instagram. 

Facebook was one of many Big Tech companies whose choice to censor then-President Donald Trump shocked nations around the world in early January. Since then, “the Oversight Board accepted a case referral from Facebook to examine their decision to indefinitely suspend former US President Donald Trump’s access to post content on Facebook and Instagram,” the Board revealed on January 21. 

The Oversight Board has the power to overturn the decisions of Facebook’s traditional leadership:

A decision by the Board on this case will be binding on Facebook, and determine whether Mr. Trump’s suspension from access to Facebook and Instagram for an indefinite amount of time is overturned. Facebook has committed not to restore access to its platforms unless directed by a decision of the Oversight Board. Facebook must consider any accompanying policy recommendations from the Board, and publicly respond to them.

Reinstating Trump’s account will require some action from his staff. “Mr. Trump, through his designated page administrators, will have the ability to submit a user statement to the Board explaining why he believes Facebook’s content moderation decisions should be overturned,” the blog specified.

The Oversight Board had initially been announced in 2019, summarized by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg as a group to “protect free expression for our community.” In 2020, as its members were revealed, however, the Board was revealed to be overwhelmingly made up of liberal members. As a result, Trump’s chances of being reinstated on Facebook appear slim.

Facebook had suspended then-President Trump indefinitely, even as he called for peace amidst the U.S. Capitol riots. Zuckerberg declared in a Jan. 7 Facebook post that the block on Trump’s accounts on Facebook and Instagram would be extended indefinitely, as “We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great.” Zuckerberg specified: “[W]e are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”

Conservatives are under attack. Contact Facebook headquarters at 1-650-308-7300 or 1-650-543-4800 or Instagram at support@instagram.com and demand that Big Tech be held to account to provide clarity on “hate speech,” rules that seem to be applied inconsistently. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.