Facebook Inc’s independent oversight board tweeted on Monday it would announce a decision May 5 on whether to uphold former US President Donald Trump’s indefinite suspension from the social media platform and Instagram.
Facebook blocked Trump’s access to his Facebook and Instagram accounts over concerns of further violent unrest following the January 6 storming of the US Capitol by his supporters. It later handed the case to the oversight board, a Reuters report stated.
The board, created by Facebook in response to criticism over its handling of problematic content, in mid-April said it had extended the public comment period on the case.
The board had said then that the Trump case received over 9,000 comments, more than any other case.
“We believe the risks of allowing the president to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg had said at that time.
According to a Bloomberg report, Trump was also banned from Twitter Inc in January 2021, a move that the company has said is permanent. He was also blocked on Snapchat, YouTube Inc and Twitch Interactive Inc, among other networks.
Losing access to social media was a political blow for Trump. The ban from Twitter, which he used for everything from insulting rivals to major policy announcements and where he had 89 million followers, meant he was largely silent in the weeks after he left office on January 20, 2021, Bloomberg said.
Trump has been issuing press releases — sometimes in the style of his tweets, using all capital letters and commenting on things like the low ratings of the Academy Awards broadcast — and calling in to conservative television programs, but that strategy lacks the reach and immediacy of his social-media postings.