Will Donald Trump get his social media accounts restored? Ex-POTUS appeals to Facebook, calls Twitter 'boring'
Former President Donald Trump has registered a formal appeal with the Facebook Oversight Board to have his indefinite suspension on Facebook and Instagram revoked, according to reports.
The appeal was made as the board is set to decide whether Trump’s ban should be lifted and his personal accounts restored now that he is out of the White House and a private citizen. "We can confirm that a user statement has been received in the case before the Oversight Board concerning President Trump's Facebook and Instagram accounts,” a spokesperson for the Oversight Board said in a statement.
The subject of whether Trump should be allowed to have access to his Facebook and Instagram accounts has long been a hotly debated matter and on which the Oversight Board has received about 9,000 comments from the public. The decision to suspend the former POTUS was taken on January 7, the day after a mob of the president’s supporters stormed the Capitol. After that, last month, Facebook announced that it asked the board to review its decision to suspend the ex-president's account.
As of now, Trump's account is still suspended pending the Oversight Board’s decision. The board has 90 days to make a decision but is expected to make a ruling more quickly. Its decision is binding and cannot be overruled by CEO Mark Zuckerberg or any other Facebook executive. The Oversight Board accepted the case and pledged to conduct "a thorough and independent assessment of the company’s decision," because it said, the suspension has driven "intense global interest."
Trump's social account being permanently suspended
Many of the social media companies including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have come under fire for banning the 45th POTUS from their platforms and in effect, trying to shape the national conversation.
“Our decision to suspend then-President Trump’s access was taken in extraordinary circumstances: a US president actively fomenting a violent insurrection designed to thwart the peaceful transition of power; five people killed; legislators fleeing the seat of democracy,” Nick Clegg, Facebook's vice president of global affairs, wrote last month. “This has never happened before – and we hope it will never happen again. It was an unprecedented set of events which called for unprecedented action.”
While YouTube and other social media companies also indefinitely suspended Trump’s accounts, Snapchat and Twitter permanently banned Trump. “We faced an extraordinary and untenable circumstance, forcing us to focus all of our actions on public safety,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said of the decision. “Offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all.”
Trump calls Twitter 'boring'
In an interview with Newsmax last week, Trump addressed his permanent ban from Twitter, saying that the platform had lost its spark now that he was no longer on it. “I’ll tell you it’s not the same,” Trump said to host Greg Kelly. “If you look at what’s going on with Twitter, I understand it’s become very boring and millions of people are leaving. They’re leaving it because it’s not the same and I can understand that... It’s become very boring; we don’t want to go back to Twitter.”
He also called the censorship he had received on Twitter for promoting election fraud conspiracy theories “disgraceful,” and added, “they wanted me very much on Parler.” He also stressed his high number of Twitter followers before he was permanently banned, “You know, I had 89 million [followers on Twitter]... and then on top of that I had 36 million or 39 million on @POTUS, and we had other sites where we had millions and millions of people, so we have ... about as big as it gets, and likewise on Facebook,” Trump said, referencing the fact that Facebook had also indefinitely banned him. “They all want that and part of the problem is, mechanically, they can’t handle it, because it’s too many people. It’s bigger than they are by many times.”