Former President Donald Trump could return to Facebook as early as May if the company’s Oversight Board makes the determination, according to a Wednesday report from Newsweek.
According to a Tuesday report from USA Today, a spokesperson for Facebook said, “We can confirm that a user statement has been received in the case before the Oversight Board concerning President Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts.”
What are the details?
Helle Thorning-Schmidt, who is co-chair of the social media network’s Oversight Board, said Tuesday that the board decided to accept the former president’s appeal to have his account reinstated.
“The case is a textbook example of why the board was created because many people are interested in it and it’s ‘very principled,'” Newsweek reported.
If the board rules in Trump’s favor, he could return to Facebook by May.
Facebook suspended Trump from using his account after the Jan. 6 incursion on the U.S. Capitol, saying that the risk of the former president’s remarks was “too great” and could “undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor [President Joe Biden].”
Less than two weeks later, Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs, said that the suspension was a result of Trump “fomenting a violent insurrection designed to thwart the peaceful transition of power.”
“It was an unprecedented set of events which called for unprecedented action,” Clegg added.
Newsweek reports that “thousands” of people have spoken out about Trump’s ban, and that all remarks will be taken into consideration when it comes to determining whether Trump will be able to return to the social media platform.
“Along with hearing from Facebook and the user, the board’s process includes potentially enlisting the help of experts and hearing from the public,” the outlet noted. “Thorning-Schmidt said the board has received ‘thousands’ of public comments and will incorporate them into the decision-making process.”
“Once we have decided this we will put out what the user said, what Facebook said, and why we reached the decision that we did,” Thorning-Schmidt explained.
USA Today noted that once the board comes to a conclusion, its decision is binding and cannot be overruled by CEO Mark Zuckerberg or any other Facebook executive.