With Trump finally out of office and banned from nearly every social media platform, the misinformation spread has slowly ground to a halt. (It’s truly amazing what silencing the Twitter tirades of a megalomaniac can do for democracy and our mental health.) Of course, Facebook thrives off the chaos created by Trump and his MAGA cronies so now, just a short week after the former president was booted off its site, the company has referred its decision to an oversight board where an independent committee will review the case and rule on whether to uphold the ban or reverse it.
Now, we know what you’re thinking, “Facebook has an oversight board? Since when?”
Apparently, the board was created late last year to have the final say on tough censorship decisions after Facebook’s disastrous mishandling of misinformation bots that used the platform to peddle wacky conspiracy theories and incite anger, sometimes even violence. And the oversight board isn’t just Mark Zuckerberg holed up in a dark, windowless room feeding off the energy of machines like some Emperor Palpatine. No (and according to CNN) it’s comprised of a handful of experts who will now weigh in on what might become the most consequential decision on content moderation we’ve seen from Big Tech. And while the choice of whether to uphold the Trump ban only pertains to Facebook and Instagram, the board’s decision could have a ripple effect on other social media platforms.
We’ll have to wait and see how that decision goes.