On Wednesday, Facebook’s oversight board will decide whether to invite former President Donald Trump to use the social media platform again, four months after barring him due to the Capitol riot.
The oversight board was supposed to report its decision in mid-April, but it was postponed. On Monday, the board extended the deadline even further by stating that its decision would be announced on Wednesday.
It comes after months of debate and indignation about the Silicon Valley behemoth’s suppression of conservative viewpoints and voices.
Since barring Trump, the organization barred him from airing an interview he did with his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, which was his first on-camera appearance since leaving office.
Facebook also allowed snippets of his previous interviews and phone interviews to feature on the websites of media outlets such as Fox and CNN.
They have also blocked posts before and during his presidency.
Twitter also barred Trump, saying he incited the riot.
Facebook’s monitoring board has 20 members, five of whom are Americans. The majority are liberals.
The board was formed last year, with the first four members being selected directly by Facebook.
Those original founders then collaborated with the social media behemoth to choose the others. The salaries of the members of the oversight board are paid for by Facebook.
The social media giant was chastised last year after the composition of its board was revealed, with opponents claiming that the so-called ‘politically neutral’ council was stacked with left-wing luminaries such as former Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt.
The commission, which has since been chastised for its slow start and narrow mandate, has yet to decide in any of the first six cases, which vary from hate speech to graphic photos.
Their areas of specialization include academia (there are many professors), leadership, and philanthropy. Some jobs are in the field of human rights.
Twitter has not stated whether or not it would ever allow Trump to re-enter the platform.
Trump has connected with supporters via email blasts from his office after losing his social media accounts.
His children have also used alternative social media platforms, such as Telegram, to share his word.
Here are the Facebook Oversight Board members:
Maina Kiai, is the former United Nations Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Assembly and Association and current Director of the Global Alliances and Partnerships at Human Rights Watch.
Helle Thorning-Schmidt is the former Prime Minister of Denmark, a position she held from 2011 to 2015.
Nicolas Suzor is a Professor at the Law School at Queensland University of Technology, where he helps lead QUT’s Digital Media Research Centre.
Nicolas Suzor via Facebook oversightboard.comNighat Dad is a Pakistani lawyer and a founder of Digital Rights Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on cyber harassment, data protection and free speech online in Pakistan and South Asia.
Julie Owono is an expert in digital rights and international technology law, and an advocate for Business and Human Rights principles in the technology industry.
Emi Palmor was born in Jerusalem and raised in Belgium, Norway and Argentina. She studied law at the Hebrew University, becoming a member of the Israeli Bar in 1991.
Katherine Chen holds a PhD from The University of Texas at Austin and is a Professor of Communication at National Chengchi University (NCCU), Taiwan.
Dr. Sudhir Krishnaswamy is Vice Chancellor and Professor of Law at the National Law School of India University and the Secretary and Treasurer of the Consortium of National Law Universities of India.
Endy Bayuni is Senior Editor and Board Member at The Jakarta Post, and writes on national politics, international relations, political Islam and the media landscape. He has been a journalist for 37 years, which includes stints at Reuters and Agence France-Presse as their Indonesian correspondent early in his career.
Tawakkol Karman is a journalist, civil rights activist and Nobel laureate. The first Arab woman to win a Nobel prize, she has been recognized for her work building a culture of non-violence in the Middle East and once called “The Mother of the Revolution.”
Ronaldo Lemos is a lawyer specializing in technology, intellectual property, media and public policy. He is a partner at PNM Advogados, a leading law firm in Brazil, and has twenty years of experience in the private and public sectors.
Jamal Greene is the Dwight Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, where he has taught courses on constitutional law, comparative constitutional law, the law of the political process, the First Amendment, and American federal courts.
John Samples is a Vice President at the Cato Institute. He founded and now directs Cato’s Center for Representative Government, which studies freedom of speech, the First Amendment and other aspects of American political institutions.
Afia Asantewaa Asare-Kyei is a human rights lawyer and development professional with extensive experience in strategy development, program design, grant management, research and stakeholder engagement in Southern, Western and Central Africa.
Catalina Botero-Marino is a lawyer and the Chairholder of the UNESCO Chair on Freedom of Expression at Universidad de los Andes, Colombia. She is a former dean of the Law School at the same university.
Suzanne Nossel is Chief Executive Officer at PEN America and author of Dare to Speak: Defending Free Speech for All. Prior to joining PEN America, she served as the Chief Operating Officer of Human Rights Watch and as Executive Director of Amnesty International USA.
Michael W. McConnell is the Richard and Frances Mallery Professor and Director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School, where he teaches a course on freedom of speech, press, and religion, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution.
Andras Sajo is a former Judge and Vice-President at the European Court of Human Rights, a University Professor and Founding Dean of Legal Studies at the Central European University, and a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
Evelyn Aswad is a Professor of Law and the Herman G. Kaiser Chair in International Law at the University of Oklahoma College of Law. She is also the Director of its Center for International Business & Human Rights.
Alan Charles Rusbridger is the Principal at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, Chair of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and former Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom, from 1995 to 2015.