As we've previously reported, the mechanics of the board bias its activity toward Facebook content taken down - not the stuff that stays up, which generally creates larger headaches for the company and society at large. If it were to overturn Facebook's decision, that decision would likely kick up a new firestorm of interest around Trump's Facebook account, even as the former president recedes from the public eye. "Many of those leaders and other commentators have said, look, they might agree with the steps we took, but they worry about what they view as unaccountable power of private companies making big decisions about political speech". "Given its significance, we think it is important for the board to review it and reach an independent judgment on whether it should be upheld". Facebook has committed not to restore access to its platforms unless directed by a decision of the Oversight Board. Twitter has already given Mr Trump an outright ban. "Sign-off by a majority of the Board is required for a case decision to be issued".
Facebook first announced the formation of the board in 2019, saying that it was committing $130 million to the project.
Last spring, we finally learned who had been selected for the 20-member board, and it is, as promised, a cross-section of experts from around the world with preference given to people "who have demonstrated a proficiency in questions of online content moderation and a history of working with others on hard problems towards a common goal", the board's website states.
"There has been, in my view, legitimate commentary, not only here in the US, but crucially from leaders around the world" about Trump's suspension, Clegg said. As outside experts and civic leaders, we embrace our responsibility to answer some of the most hard questions around freedom of expression online: "what to take down, what to leave up, and why".
In its own statement on taking the case, the Oversight Board explained that a five-member panel will evaluate the case soon with a decision planned within 90 days. The Trump case, though, is going to be the one that gets the most media attention.
There are 20 global members of the Oversight Board, whose job is to examine content taken down from Facebook and Instagram. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the risks of allowing Trump to keep using the social network were "too great". It is meant to be an independent entity, though it is funded by Facebook through a trust. While the per-case decisions are binding, whether the broader precedents it creates will impact Facebook's future policy decisions remains to be seen.
"This provides the Secretary of Commerce the ability to say.'There is no reason for you to continue to have access to the nation's products, '" the person added, noting the restrictions could apply to jurisdictions as well as people and companies.