On Saturday, Politico walked through why former President Donald Trump faces major obstacles to winning back his Facebook account.
"Facebook's oversight board is expected to rule in the coming weeks on whether to uphold or overturn Trump's indefinite suspension from the platforms, which the company imposed after the Jan. 6 Capitol riots over fears he might incite further violence," reported Christiano Lima. "The board, often likened to Facebook's Supreme Court, has the power to overrule decisions even by top executives like CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Its ruling on Trump will be the group's highest-profile yet, with momentous implications for U.S. politics and potentially the company's treatment of other world leaders."
According to the report, Trump — who reportedly whined directly to Zuckerberg that the board won't give him a fair shake — does have some points in his favor: the board has historically ruled against Facebook, and furthermore, Facebook for years stuck to an "overly narrow interpretation" of its own rules and the board could find their application to Trump was selective. Some experts think the board has clear incentives to restore him.
The report adds, "Facebook took down more Trump posts immediately after the Capitol riots on Jan. 6, declaring it an "emergency situation" and warning that his online rhetoric 'contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence.' It suspended him the following day."
But, Lima noted, there are more points in favor of Facebook's decision to ban Trump from the site.
First of all, Trump received plenty of warnings: "Trump spent years butting heads with Facebook over its standards, including posts before and after the election that the company either adorned with warning labels or took down entirely for making unfounded claims about the election or the coronavirus pandemic." Second, "None of the previous cases directly involved a government leader — let alone the leader of the free world, or one accused of inciting a deadly attack in the seat of his own democracy."
Another problem for Trump, noted the report, is that "researchers said they expect the oversight board to look at Trump's suspension through a wider human rights lens, which would put a greater emphasis on how Trump's speech could harm others."
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