Facebook's independent oversight board said Thursday that it had accepted the company's request to review its decision to suspend the accounts of former President Donald Trump.
The U.S. social media giant blocked Trump's access to his Facebook and Instagram accounts after he was accused of inciting a deadly insurrection by his supporters January 6 at the U.S. Capitol as lawmakers were formally certifying Joe Biden's presidential victory.
When it made the decision, the company said the suspension would remain in effect at least until the end of Trump's term on January 20 and possibly indefinitely.
The board said a five-member panel would review the case in the coming days and report its findings to the full board.
A majority of the members must approve a decision before it can be issued. The board must decide within 90 days, and Facebook is required to act on it within that period. The board's decisions are nonbinding.
Trump's critics generally applauded Facebook's decision, but many world leaders and free-speech proponents denounced it, maintaining it sets an alarming precedent against free speech.
'Very confident' decision was right
Facebook global affairs chief Nick Clegg told the Reuters news agency he remained convinced the company acted appropriately when it suspended Trump's accounts.
"I'm very confident that any reasonable person looking at the circumstances in which we took that decision and looking at our existing policies will agree," Clegg said.
But Clegg also said the board might consider wider principles and policies that could influence its decision.
In addition to reviewing the decision to suspend Trump's accounts, Clegg said he asked the board to recommend when political leaders can or should be prohibited from using the company's platforms.
Facebook created the oversight board after being criticized for its management of problematic content. The panel consists of 20 members, including a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, a former prime minister, legal experts and rights advocates.
Twitter, Trump's favorite social media platform, has suspended the former president permanently.