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Should Facebook let Trump back on?

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A Facebook (FB) oversight board is weighing whether to permanently ban former President Donald Trump over his role in the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, and a new Yahoo Finance online poll shows a narrow majority of people believe the ban should be lifted now.

Video Transcript

ADAM SHAPIRO: Let's check in with Dan Howley because there's a question out there. And the answer might surprise some people. Should Facebook let President Trump back on the platform? Dan Howley, what's the answer?

DAN HOWLEY: Surprisingly, a slim majority of Yahoo Finance readers say yes, he should be allowed back on the platform. It's a little more than 50% say that he should be. Less than that say no, 44.4%, as you see there. And this all relates to Facebook's decision to ban Trump indefinitely pending a review by Facebook's own oversight board.

That's that independent kind of Supreme Court for Facebook that people can kind of go to and say, look, I don't appreciate the fact that Facebook censored this or Facebook took this down. This kind of board then goes ahead and reviews those decisions. And whatever comes it up with stands. So if they do say that former President Trump should return to the platform, there's nothing anybody else can do, but allow him onto the platform. That's kind of the way this was built.

It's ensured that CEO Mark Zuckerberg can't overrule it or anyone else down the line. So that that would then allow him to be restored. However, we don't know how they're leaning quite yet. They could also just say that they would continue to ban him permanently. Interestingly, a large number, obviously, of Republicans say that President Trump should be-- former President Trump should be allowed back on. Democrats clearly say that he should not be allowed back on. But there are still a few Republicans who said that Facebook acted too late in taking him off as well.

SEANA SMITH: That's pretty interesting there, at least coming from some Republicans. Dan Howley, how about the debate over whether or not Facebook should even be able to suspend elected officials' accounts? What was the consensus there from the survey?

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah, there were a number of people. Still, a majority said that there should still be-- Facebook should not have the ability, rather, to take elected officials' accounts offline. And this is interesting just by virtue of the fact that one of the main kind of ways that people argue against Facebook, or Twitter for that matter, taking action against President Trump, is that they allow other world leaders on there to spout some wild rhetoric without taking action.

Now Facebook and Twitter have done so in the past. Twitter is now going forward and asking for public input on what they should do on public figures. Facebook obviously not doing that, thinking that it has a handle on it. And if it doesn't, then its oversight board will take action. But we're still waiting for this decision. It came-- it was sent to the oversight board in January. They have 90 days to do so. And that time is creeping up.

ADAM SHAPIRO: Hey, Dan, coming into the stream at 3 o'clock, there was an old-fashioned dial-up kind of hiccup for Facebook and Instagram. They lost service. What happened?

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah, it seems as though they just had an outage across the board for WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook proper, Messenger, then Facebook Gaming as well. They sent out an alert saying that it had been down for some time. It looks like it was roughly an hour, but it's already started to come back up.

But, you know, it just comes at a time where we're seeing more and more people jump online. We don't know if that necessarily has anything to do with it, though. But the services have become more and more important for people to get news. So if they're down, then people aren't able to get the kind of information that they may need at a certain amount of time.

ADAM SHAPIRO: Because how many cats riding a vacuum do you want to miss those videos are very important. Dan Howley, I'm being inappropriately sarcastic. Thank you very--