Trump Facebook Board Considerations Revealed

( A spokesperson for Facebook’s Oversight board confirmed on Tuesday that an appeal to restore the account of former President Donald Trump has been received.

In a statement, the spokesperson said that they can “confirm that a user statement has been received in the case before the Oversight board concerning President Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts.”

It follows a decision from the social media giant in January to indefinitely ban President Trump’s accounts following the violent riots in Washington, D.C., on January 6. The social media giant, including competing sites like Twitter, responded to the riots by deleting the president’s accounts, despite Trump repeatedly condemning the violence and calling on supporters to remain peaceful.

The FBI also walked back claims that protesters who illegally entered the Capitol Building – which consisted of both left-wing and right-wing rioters – were plotting to kill members of Congress.

Despite new information about the riot, and a failed attempt to convict the president in a Senate impeachment hearing for “inciting insurrection,” the former president remains banned on several social media platforms.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, said that the company believes the “risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great.”

Some weeks later, Facebook announced that an Oversight Board, consisting of 19 members, will work to determine whether the former president should be allowed to continue to use their platform.

The Oversight Board is responsible for managing the appeals process that gives users an opportunity to challenge suspensions made on Instagram and Facebook. The decisions made by the board will be considered final and cannot be overturned by Facebook executives, including CEO Zuckerberg.

Speaking to Newsweek, former Danish Prime Minister and Oversight Board member Hell Thorning-Schmidt said that the board was discussing the issue of whether politicians should have some limitations with regards to their use of the platform.

“We will look into all these issues and come back with a decision that I know for sure will be divisive because some will agree, some will disagree,” he said. “Basically it’s up to us now to determine whether Trump should be excluded from Facebook forever, or without a set date where he could return.”

Speaking of the Oversight Board, Thorning-Schmidt said that they are a “very diverse bunch of people.”

“We also try to balance the board politically so we come from different parts of the political spectrum. So I really hope that it won’t be politicized, but I come from politics so I’m not naïve,” he added.

President Donald Trump’s future on Facebook, if he has one, could potentially come with a series of caveats that affect all other politicians, too.