- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Former President Donald Trump wants his access restored to Facebook and Instagram. Mr. Trump’s accounts were suspended last month while he was still in office after the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, and he has appealed to Facebook’s oversight board that is reviewing his suspension.

The social media company’s oversight board has responsibility for reviewing governance and enforcement actions on the company’s platforms and is organized as a separate entity from Facebook, despite operating with a $130 million trust from Facebook.

“We can confirm that user statement has been received in the case before the Oversight Board concerning President Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts,” an oversight board spokesperson said in an email. “We will have no further comment concerning that statement until the Board has issued its decision.”

There is no public date for when the board plans to make its decision known in Mr. Trump’s case.

Whether Mr. Trump’s access to Facebook will ever be restored remains an open question. Facebook first removed Mr. Trump from its platform on the evening of Jan. 6 after the violence at the Capitol, and the company initially said the blockade would last 24 hours.

The next day, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the blockade would last for the remainder of Mr. Trump’s tenure in office. After President Biden’s inauguration, Facebook said it had no intention of lifting its ban.

Facebook declined to answer on Wednesday whether Mr. Trump has made any separate appeal to Facebook or Instagram outside of the oversight board process to have his account restored.

Mr. Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify next week before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on misinformation and disinformation.

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