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Facebook’s New Board Has Incentives to Bring Back Donald Trump

The panel is structured in ways that help the former president’s chances of regaining his posting privileges.



Photographer: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Sometime in the coming weeks, Facebook Inc.’s new Oversight Board will announce whether Donald Trump will be allowed to post again on Facebook and Instagram. Based on its recent rulings in other cases, the board seems poised to end Facebook’s suspension of Trump, which began in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Trump’s return to social media would bolster his attempt to remain the dominant figure in the Republican Party. More broadly, it could reshape the way political speech is governed for Facebook’s 2.8 billion users, making it more difficult for the company to remove harmful content and bad actors. A pro-Trump decision could also influence other platforms, including Twitter, which permanently banned the former president after the ransacking of the Capitol, and YouTube, which said on March 4 that it would end its suspension of Trump when the risk of political violence recedes.