past event

Deplatforming Trump: The Facebook Oversight Board Decision

On Wednesday, May 5, the independent Facebook Oversight Board announced a binding decision to uphold the suspension of President Donald Trump’s account, which was removed indefinitely following the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Join us for an on-the-record public discussion with Oversight Board members and other experts about the decision and its far-reaching implications.

We are joined by:

Facebook Oversight Board Members

  • Jamal Greene, Professor, Columbia Law School
  • Ronaldo Lemos, Professor, Rio de Janeiro State University’s Law School
  • Julie Owono, Executive Director, Internet Sans Frontières
  • John Samples, Vice President, CATO Institute


  • Faiza Patel, Director, Liberty & National Security, Brennan Center for Justice
  • Henry Olsen, Senior Fellow, Ethics & Public Policy Center; Columnist, The Washington Post 

Moderated by Vivian Schiller, Executive Director, Aspen Digital

The Facebook Oversight Board is funded by an independent trust and supported by an independent company that is separate from Facebook. Aspen Digital receives funding from Facebook and maintains full editorial control over all programming.


Jamal Greene is the Dwight Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, where he has taught courses on constitutional law, comparative constitutional law, the law of the political process, the First Amendment, and American federal courts. His scholarship focuses on constitutional rights adjudication as well as the structure of legal and constitutional argument. Professor Greene is the author of numerous articles and book chapters and a frequent media commentator on constitutional law and the Supreme Court. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School and a visiting scholar at the Knight First Amendment Institute. Prior to joining Columbia’s faculty, Professor Greene served as a law clerk to the Hon. Guido Calabresi on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and for the Hon. John Paul Stevens on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ronaldo Lemos is a lawyer specializing in technology, intellectual property, media and public policy. He is a partner at PNM Advogados, a leading law firm in Brazil, and has twenty years of experience in the private and public sectors. Dr. Lemos was a Visiting Scholar at Oxford, Princeton, the MIT Media Lab and a Visiting Professor at the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). He co-created Brazil’s Internet Bill of Rights Law (2014) and Brazil’s National IoT Plan (2018) and served on the Boards of the Mozilla Foundation, Access Now and other non-profit organizations. Previously, Dr. Lemos was Vice-President of the Social Communication Council in the National Congress in Brazil. Dr. Lemos writes weekly about law and technology for Folha de S. Paulo, one of Brazil’s most widely read newspapers.

Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, studies and provides commentary on American politics. His work focuses on how America’s political order is being upended by populist challenges, from the left and the right. He also studies populism’s impact in other democracies in the developed world. Mr. Olsen is an opinion columnist for The Washington Post and is also the author of The Working Class Republican: Ronald Reagan and the Return of Blue-Collar Conservatism and The Four Faces of the Republican Party, co-authored with Dante Scala. Mr. Olsen has worked in senior executive positions at many center-right think tanks. Prior to his time at EPPC, he served as Vice President and Director, National Research Initiative, at the American Enterprise Institute. He previously worked as Vice President of Programs at the Manhattan Institute and President of the Commonwealth Foundation.

Julie Owono is an expert in digital rights and international technology law, and an advocate for Business and Human Rights principles in the technology industry. She is Executive Director of Internet Sans Frontières, an organization which defends digital rights and access to the internet. She is also a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, a Digital Civil Society Fellow at Stanford University, a member of UNESCO’s Ad Hoc Expert Group (AHEG) for the Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence, a Member of the Expert Committee on Digital Inclusion of the World Benchmarking Alliance, and a Civil Society member of the Global Network Initiative’s Board.

Faiza Patel serves as codirector of the Brennan Center’s Liberty & National Security Program. She is an expert on immigration, racial profiling, freedom of speech, privacy, oversight mechanisms, surveillance, technology, policing, and platform governance. A frequent commentator for major print, online, and broadcast media outlets, Faiza is also an editor of the legal blog Just Security. Born and raised in Pakistan, she is a graduate of Harvard College and NYU School of Law.

John Samples is a Vice President at the Cato Institute. He founded and now directs Cato’s Center for Representative Government, which studies freedom of speech, the First Amendment and other aspects of American political institutions. He is currently working on an update to his monograph, ‘Why Government Should not Regulate Content Moderation of Social Media.’ He is also the author of ‘The Struggle to Limit Government: A Modern Political History,’ and ‘The Fallacy of Campaign Finance Reform,’ as well as the co-editor with Michael McDonald of ‘The Marketplace of Democracy.’ Prior to joining Cato, Samples served as Director of Georgetown University Press for eight years, and before that, as Vice President of the Twentieth Century Fund. He has published scholarly articles in journals including Society, History of Political Thought, and Telos along with numerous contributions to edited volumes and has been featured in publications like USA Today, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times. Samples received his PhD in political science from Rutgers University.

Vivian Schiller is the Executive Director of Aspen Digital. A longtime executive at the intersection of journalism, media and technology, Schiller has held executive roles at some of the most respected media organizations in the world. Those include: President and CEO of NPR; Global Chair of News at Twitter; General Manager of; Chief Digital Officer of NBC News; Chief of the Discovery Times Channel, a joint venture of The New York Times and Discovery Communications; and Head of CNN documentary and long form divisions. Documentaries and series produced under her auspices earned multiple honors, including three Peabody Awards, four Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Awards, and dozens of Emmys. Schiller is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; and a Director of the Scott Trust, which owns The Guardian.

Event information
Thu May 6, 2021
11:00am - 12:15pm EDT