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Facebook oversight board set to rule on Trump ban

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(FILES) In this file photo taken on January 20, 2021, Former US President Donald Trump waves as he boards Marine One at the White House in Washington, DC. – Donald Trump will face an second impeachment trial in the Senate over the January 6, 2021, ransacking of the US Capitol after the impeachment article against the former president is sent to the chamber on January 25, 2021, its Democratic leader Chuck Schumer announced. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP)

Facebook’s independent oversight board said it would issue its final ruling on whether to leave in place a ban on former US President Donald Trump, who was removed from the platform for inciting violence.

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A statement Monday from the panel said the ruling would come at around 1300 GMT on Wednesday, to be followed by a news conference.

The Trump ban came as several online platforms removed the social media-savvy leader over comments interpreted as encouraging the rioters who took over the US Capitol on January 6 in a deadly rampage.

While many applauded the Trump ban, some political leaders and analysts have expressed concern over important platforms unilaterally removing important voices in political discourse.

Both Facebook and Twitter argued that Trump was banned for violating platform rules, after a long period of allowing exceptions because his comments were seen as newsworthy.

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An extended public comment period ended in February with more than 9,000 submissions regarding the case, according to the board.

The social network itself asked the independent body to review Trump’s eviction from the online community.

The oversight board has the final say on what is removed or allowed to remain on the world’s biggest social network.

Trump’s access to social media platforms that he used as a megaphone during his presidency has been largely cut off since the Capitol riot.

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