Trump Facebook ban – live: Suspension to be overturned, expert predicts as Ted Cruz visits Mar-a-Lago

White House vows to ignore Trump if Facebook reinstates him

A decision is expected today over whether Facebook can continue to suspend former US president Donald Trump from the platform.

The Facebook Oversight Board – an independent group that reviews the company’s most complex issues – will either rule the ban can continue or the company has to allow Mr Trump access again in an announcement expected around 9am eastern time (2pm BST).

The former president was banned “indefinitely” by Facebook for posts related to the attack on the US Capitol in January by Trump supporters.


Who are on the Facebook Inc’s oversight board?

Facebook Inc’s independent oversight board, which will on Wednesday announce its decision on whether to uphold the company’s ban on former US President Donald Trump, currently consists of 20 members.

These are:

Catalina Botero-Marino

Ms Botero-Marino is a Colombian attorney who was the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States from 2008 to 2014. She is now Dean of the Universidad de los Andes Faculty of Law.

Jamal Greene

Mr Greene is a Columbia Law professor whose scholarship focuses on constitutional rights adjudication and the structure of legal and constitutional argument. He was a law clerk for former US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.

Michael McConnell

Mr McConnell, now a constitutional law professor at Stanford Law, was a US federal circuit judge. Appointed by Republican President George W Bush, he was viewed as a possible US Supreme Court nominee.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt

Ms Thorning-Schmidt was the first woman prime minister of Denmark. The Social Democrat, who led a coalition government from 2011-2015, then served as the chief executive of charity Save the Children International.

Other members

Afia Asantewaa Asare-Kyei

A dual Ghanaian and South African citizen, Ms Asare-Kyei is a human rights advocate who works on women’s rights, media freedom, and access to information issues across Africa at the Open Society Initiative for West Africa.

Evelyn Aswad

Ms Aswad, now a University of Oklahoma College of Law professor, formerly served as a senior US State Department lawyer. She specializes in the application of international human rights standards to content moderation issues.

Endy Bayuni

Mr Bayuni is an Indonesian journalist who twice served as the editor-in-chief of the Jakarta Post and is involved with media advocacy organizations across the region.

Katherine Chen

A former national communications regulator in Taiwan, Ms Chen is currently a professor in public relations and statistics at Taiwan’s National Chengchi University. Her research focuses on social media, mobile news, and privacy.

Nighat Dad

Ms Dad is a Pakistani lawyer and internet activist who runs the Digital Rights Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on cyber harassment, data protection and free speech online in Pakistan and South Asia.

Suzanne Nossel

Ms Nossel is chief executive officer at freedom of expression non-profit PEN America. She was previously chief operating officer of Human Rights Watch, executive director of Amnesty International USA, and held roles in the administrations of U.S. Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

Tawakkol Karman

The Yemeni human rights activist and journalist became the first Arab woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 in recognition of her non-violent push for change during the Arab Spring.

Maina Kiai

Mr Kiai is a Kenyan lawyer and human rights activist who is director of Human Rights Watch’s Global Alliances and Partnerships Program and who served as the United Nations special rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association from 2011 to 2017.

Sudhir Krishnaswamy

Mr Krishnaswamy, the vice chancellor of the National Law School of India University, is an expert on India’s constitutional law and a civil society activist.

Ronaldo Lemos

Mr Lemos is a Brazilian academic and lawyer who co-created a national internet rights law in Brazil and co-founded a nonprofit focused on technology and policy issues. He teaches law at the Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro.

Julie Owono

Ms Owono is a lawyer and the executive director of Internet Sans Frontieres, a digital rights organization based in France. She campaigns against internet censorship in Africa and around the world.

Emi Palmor

Ms Palmor is a former director general of the Israeli Ministry of Justice, who led initiatives to address racial discrimination and advance access to justice via digital services and platforms.

Alan Rusbridger

Mr Rusbridger is a British journalist who was the editor-in-chief of the Guardian newspaper. He is now the principal of Lady Margaret Hall, a college of Oxford University.

Andras Sajo

A Hungarian legal academic and former judge at the European Court of Human Rights, Mr Sajo is an expert in comparative constitutionalism and was involved in the drafting of the Ukrainian, Georgian and South African constitutions.

John Samples

Mr Samples is a vice president at the Cato Institute, a US libertarian think tank. He advocates against restrictions on online expression and writes on social media and speech regulation.

Nicolas Suzor

Mr Suzor is an associate law professor at Queensland University of Technology in Australia who studies the governance of social networks and the regulation of automated systems.

Zoe Tidman5 May 2021 11:26

Explainer: What might happen after today?

While awaiting to hear what will happen to Donald Trump’s Facebook ban, here’s a reminder of how the process works and what might happen after today’s announcement:

Zoe Tidman5 May 2021 10:49

What is the oversight panel?

Facebook created the oversight panel to rule on thorny content on its platforms following widespread criticism of its difficulty responding swiftly and effectively to misinformation, hate speech and nefarious influence campaigns.

Its decisions so far — all nine of them — have tended to favor free expression over the restriction of content.In its first rulings, the panel overturned four out of five decisions by the social network to take down questionable material.

It ordered Facebook to restore posts by users that the company said broke standards on adult nudity, hate speech, or dangerous individuals.

Critics of Facebook, however, worry that the Oversight Board is a mere distraction from the company’s deeper problems — ones that can’t be addressed in a handful of high-profile cases by a semi-independent body of experts.

Here is more on its first rulings, which took place in January:

Associated Press

Zoe Tidman5 May 2021 10:34

‘He’s in great spirits!’

The night before the expected ruling on his Facebook profile, Donald Trump was in “great spirits” at a dinner with Ted Cruz, according to the US senator.

“We spent the evening talking about working together to re-take the House & Senate in 2022,” Mr Cruz said.

Zoe Tidman5 May 2021 10:16

Trump’s new blogging page

The former president has launched his own blogging page called‘ From the Desk of Donald J Trump’ ahead of the Facebook ruling.

Greg Evans takes a look at 15 of the most bizarre things the former president has already posted on it:

Zoe Tidman5 May 2021 10:04

What will today’s ruling mean?

Donald Trump’s fate on Facebook, the biggest social platform around, will be decided today.

If an independent panel rules in Trump’s favor, Facebook has seven days to reinstate the account.

If the board upholds Facebook‘s decision, Mr Trump will remain “indefinitely” suspended.

Politicians, free speech experts and activists around the world are watching the decision closely.

It has implications not only for Mr Trump but for tech companies, world leaders and people across the political spectrum — many of whom have wildly conflicting views of the proper role for technology companies when it comes to regulating online speech and protecting people from abuse and misinformation.

Associated Press

Zoe Tidman5 May 2021 09:52

Grounds for suspension

Facebook banned Donald Trump “indefinitely” over two incendiary posts but there are thousands more they could have silenced the ex-president over, media experts say.

Graeme Massie in Los Angeles reports:

Zoe Tidman5 May 2021 09:33

Trump’s ‘communications platform’ on website

Ahead of today’s ruling, Donald Trump has launched a “communications platform” months after being banned by most social media sites including Facebook and Twitter.

Online comments regarding the announcement were sarcastically confused – but amused.

Oliver O’Connell has the full story:

Zoe Tidman5 May 2021 09:23

Why was Trump suspended from Facebook?

When Donald Trump was banned “indefinitely” by Facebook in the wake of January’s US Capitol attack it became the first social media company to meaningfully silence him.

Here is a reminder of how the ban came about:

Zoe Tidman5 May 2021 09:03

Facebook Inc oversight board to rule on Trump ban

A decision from Facebook Inc’s oversight board on whether to uphold Donald Trump’s indefinite suspension from the platform is expected later today.

The former US president was barred from a slew of social media platforms following the deadly 6 January storming of the U.S Capitol by his supporters.

The long-awaited ruling will bring the focus back onto how the world’s largest social network decides what world leaders and politicians can and can’t say on their platforms.

It is expected Wednesday morning in America – or early afternoon UK time.

Additional reporting by Reuters

Zoe Tidman5 May 2021 08:48