Facebook’s oversight board has delayed a ruling on whether to reinstate former President Donald Trump’s account to “the coming weeks.”
Why it’s postponing: The board, made up of lawyers, scholars and other outside experts, had 90 days to review Trump’s indefinite suspension after Facebook referred his case to the panel on Jan. 21. But the board said Friday it needed to push back the deadline due to the immense public interest in the case.
In February, the board extended the deadline for the public to submit comments on how they should rule and later disclosed they had received over 9,000 submissions, a figure that dwarfed entries for prior cases they have reviewed.
The panel said Friday that delay caused them to shift back the deadline for a final decision.
“The board will announce its decision on the case concerning former US President Trump’s indefinite suspension from Facebook and Instagram in the coming weeks,” the board said in a statement.
“The Board’s commitment to carefully reviewing all comments has extended the case timeline, in line with the board’s bylaws,” the board said.
How we got here: Facebook suspended Trump’s account in the wake of the Jan. 6 siege on the Capitol, citing risks of additional violence.
Under the microscope: The board will face backlash in Washington whichever way it rules. Republicans have excoriated Facebook for kicking Trump off its platforms, while Democrats for years have called on it and other social media companies to boot him off for spreading misinformation and dangerously incendiary rhetoric.