Trump has asked Facebook to let him back on in new appeal to Oversight Board

Oliver O'Connell
·2 min read

Donald Trump has appealed directly to Facebook’s Oversight Board to allow him to rejoin the platform, according to a report by Channel 4 News.

The board, a group of 20 experts from around the world, is reviewing the company’s decision to permanently suspend the former US president’s account.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt, former prime minister of Denmark, and now co-chair of the content review group on the board, told presenter Jon Snow that they would be reviewing the appeal.

“It’s a very high profile case,” she said, “but that is exactly why the Oversight Board was created in the first place.”

Despite “trying to do this case a little bit faster”, a decision by the board will take time and they have given themselves 90 days.

Ms Thorning-Schmidt added that as part of their decision-making process, the board has invited the public to provide feedback on Mr Trump’s appeal and have “already received public comments in the thousands and thousands on this case”, which they will examine.

The independent board, comprised of former politicians, journalists, and academics, was formed to hear appeals from users about content they felt had been unfairly taken down — in addition to cases referred by Facebook itself.

A spokesperson confirmed to Insider that the appeal covers both Mr Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts.

The accounts were suspended following the 6 January violent insurrection at the US Capitol that led to Mr Trump’s second impeachment.

As events unfolded on that day, Mr Trump posted a Facebook video that appeared sympathetic to rioters, as well as adding to his continued baseless claims regarding election fraud that led to the violence that day.

The Facebook Oversight Board was launched in 2020 and has ruled on five cases to date, overturning four of them. Decisions made by the board cannot be appealed.

The Independent has reached out to representatives of Mr Trump for comment.

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