Facebook Oversight Board to Announce Decision on Donald Trump Ban on May 5

Former President Donald Trump could make a return to Facebook and Instagram very soon following an announcement by the body that oversees bans on content for the social media sites.

The Oversight Board tweeted on Monday that they will reveal their decision on Trump's suspensions this Wednesday, May 5. There is no information yet about whether he will be permitted to access his accounts again or if the ban will be extended.

Trump was suspended from Facebook and Instagram, which Facebook owns, following the deadly Capitol riot on January 6. He was also banned from Twitter but there is no indication that site is considering reinstating him.

"The Oversight Board will announce its decision on the case concerning former US President Trump on its website at https://oversightboard.com/news on May 5, 2021 at approximately 9:00 a.m. EDT," the board said on Twitter.

According to its own description, the board "makes decisions on what content Facebook & Instagram should allow or remove, based on respect for freedom of expression & human rights."

The Oversight Board has the power to reverse Facebook's decision to ban Trump and received over 9,000 public submissions on the issue last month, according to CNN.

The Oversight Board will announce its decision on the case concerning former US President Trump on its website at https://t.co/NNQ9YCrcrh on May 5, 2021 at approximately 9:00 a.m. EDT.

— Oversight Board (@OversightBoard) May 3, 2021

The former president was suspended "indefinitely" on January 7 but Facebook referred the matter to the Oversight Board for review. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained the unprecedented decision in a blog post at the time.

"We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great," Zuckerberg wrote. "Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete."

Trump has communicated largely through press releases since leaving office on January 20 but he has occasionally shared posts on Gab, a social media site popular with conservatives. These have been infrequent, however.

His Facebook page currently has more than 32.8 million likes and it gained more followers in the immediate aftermath of his suspension. The most recent post is from January 6 - the day rioters breached the Capitol. It called on the rioters to "remain peaceful."

Trump was a more frequent user of Twitter, however, and had more than 88 million followers. The social media company's chief financial officer (CFO) Ned Segal has said Trump's ban is permanent.

"The way our policies work, when you're removed from the platform, you're removed from the platform," Segal told CNBC on February 10.

"Whether you're a commentator, you're a CFO, or you are a former or current public official. Remember, our policies are designed to make sure that people are not inciting violence, and if anybody does that, we have to remove them from the service and our policies don't allow people to come back," he added.

Newsweek has asked former President Trump and the Facebook Oversight Board for comment.

Former President Trump Looks at His Phone
Former President Donald Trump looks at his phone during a roundtable at the State Dining Room of the White House June 18, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump remains suspended from Facebook and Instagram. Getty Images/Alex Wong