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Facebook ‘Supreme Court’ Weighs Trump’s Social Media Fate

  • Independent panel to decide whether to reinstate his account
  • Board faces fraught politics over free speech, human rights

Photographer: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Facebook Inc.’s de facto Supreme Court of content is on the verge of ruling on Donald Trump’s return to the world’s largest social network, a closely watched decision that’s likely to be just as consequential for the social media giant as it is for the former U.S. president.

The company suspended Trump on Jan. 6, forbidding him from sharing content with his 35 million followers after his posts encouraged a violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol. The ban was extended indefinitely, meaning Trump’s Facebook page -- where he often posted more than a dozen times a day -- has been frozen for more than three months, intensifying long-running accusations of political bias against conservatives and adding fire to the debate about social media companies’ refereeing of speech.